Oil & Gas

Oil extraction and processing methods can vary greatly by region or application, and oil companies are constantly seeking ways to improve any process to maximize efficiency. ClaasECO-Watern UFB-nanobubble technology has proven to increase efficiency in oil-water separation and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) reduction. By harnessing the unique properties of Ultra Fine Bubbles, ClaasECO-Water UFB equipment is making oil companies more efficient and improving their bottom line.

Oil Water Separation

Oil-water separation is the process of separating oil and suspended solids from the produced water of production facilities and from the wastewater of oil refineries, petrochemical plants, and natural-gas processing plants. Various methods exist to separate oil and water, but flotation is typically the first method in the separation process. In flotation, gas bubbles attach to oil droplets in the water to increase their rise rate. Once on the surface of the water, the oil can be skimmed off, removing a large portion of the free oil in the water. ClaasECOWater UFB-gas-injection technology enhances this process by delivering high volumes of Ultra Fine Bubbles into the water. Ultra Fine Bubbles exhibit unique properties when compared to larger bubbles that make them an ideal fit for oil-water separation.

Strong Molecular Attachment
Flotation, typically the first or second step of oil water separation, is achieved by attaching air or gas bubbles to oil molecules to increase their rise rate. Ultra-Fine Bubbles have a stronger surface charge than do conventional bubbles, making them ideal for attaching to oil particles. This strong bond allows for easier flotation of the oil, enhancing the efficiency of the oil-water separation process.

High Nanobubble density
ClaasECO-Water UFB-nanobubble generator produces over one billion Ultra Fine Bubbles per millilitre of water. At this volume, a significantly higher number of gas bubbles can attach to the oil. This translates to less gas needed to achieve the same attachment rate, making the separation process more effective. Additionally, Ultra Fine Bubbles do not float and are neutrally buoyant, which significantly reduces off-gassing. They can thus evenly disperse in solution until it is fully saturated. When enough nanobubble and oil particles are bonded, neutral buoyancy shifts to positive buoyancy, and they easily float to the surface for collection.

Surface area
ClaasECO-Water UFB-Ultra Fine Bubbles are less than 200 nanometres in diameter, offering immense surface area when compared to micro bubbles. This increase in surface area enables the Ultra Fine Bubbles to collide and attach themselves to colloidal-sized particulates and oil droplets. This capability increases the amount of oil and particulates at the surface, thereby improving removal rates.

H2S Reduction

Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is a chemical compound produced by the microbial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. H2S is commonly found at oil and natural gas well sites, petroleum refineries, and in pipelines used to carry crude oil and natural gas. The concentration of H2S is typically dependent on the oil well location, depth, and quality. Hydrogen Sulphide is toxic to humans, can easily explode, and corrodes metals and equipment it comes in contact with. The oil and gas industry thus take great measures to ensure safety at oil sites and is constantly seeking ways to reduce H2S throughout the various stages of oil production. ClaasECOWater UFB-nanobubble technology is a highly effective treatment method that rapidly and efficiently reduces H2S.

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High Oxygen-Transfer Efficiency
The primary method to treat H2S is to oxidize it, or make it react with oxygen, to form sulphur dioxide (SO2). ClaasECO-Water UFBnanobubble gas-injection technology has a very high oxygen-transfer efficiency (OTE) because of the size of the Ultra Fine Bubbles, less than that of a human red blood cell. At this size, the bubbles provide more than 400 times the interfacial surface area of ultrafine bubbles. ClaasECO-Water UFB-system also produces Ultra Fine Bubbles in high quantities, over one billion per millilitre of water. The combination of their miniscule size and high volume translates to an OTE of over 90%, making it a very effective treatment method for H2S.

Mixing and Distribution
Due to the Ultra Fine Bubbles’ neutral buoyancy and Brownian motion, they evenly disperse, enabling them to evenly oxygenate the entire water column, thereby achieving the same DO level at all depths of a frac or produced water pond. This is particularly important because the presence of oxygen at lower depths prevents the hypolimnion, the dense bottom layer of water, from becoming anoxic (anaerobic) which would otherwise allow sulphate reducing bacteria to produce H2S. Ultra Fine Bubbles also survive in solution for months at a time due to their strong surface charge and neutral buoyancy. This makes them ideal for H2S prevention in ponds after the water has been oxidized upstream.

Non-invasive Plug & Play
Solutions – ClaasECO-Water UFB-nanobubble generators are positioned outside the body of water. Customers can typically install and commission a ClaasECO-Water UFB equipment system in half a day by simply connecting PVC or flexible hoses to and from the generator to the body of water and connecting the generator to a power source. These simple to install, energy efficient systems, help Oil & Gas operators eliminate and prevent H2S in their ponds more cost effectively than the use of traditional, invasive aeration systems combined with chemistry.