Removal of Dissolved Organics from Flow Back Waters Using Swellable Organosilica
Award last edited on: 5/13/2022

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Stephen Jolly

Company Information

ABSMaterials Inc (AKA: AMC~Absorbent Materials Company LLC~ABS Materials Inc)

1909 Old Mansfield Road
Wooster, OH 44691
   (330) 234-7999
Location: Multiple
Congr. District: 07
County: Wayne

Phase I

Contract Number: ----------
Start Date: ----    Completed: ----
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
This project will increase the effectiveness environmental remediation of produced water. This proposal has two strategic objectives: (1) develop and improve identified technologies to remediate produced water; and (2) develop process of production to make these technologies commercially viable. Produced Water (PW) is a term given to aqueous waste streams and chemical waters which are a by-product of petroleum exploration and recovery. In 2007, the Produced Water Society estimated 800 billion gallons of produced water were created from petroleum extraction activities around the world. The large volumes of produced water often result form an average of 11-fold excess of water compared to the amount of hydrocarbon recovered. Near the end of life of some wells, Produced Water can be as high as 98% of the total volume of liquids extracted. Costs associated with produced water management are often a key component to wells being taken of-line. On-shore or land-based, produced water is handled in four basic ways: 1) Treated and re-used in Oil Services for fracking or other well production activity, 2) Sequestered by re-injection below the water-table in unused or dead wells. I, 3) Dumped into existing waste water treatment plants, and 4) Dumped in disused mines or other locations believed to pose minimum risk to surface waters. Off-shore produced water is handled in one of three ways: 1) Untreated or partly treated it is discharged into the ocean, 2) Near-shore platforms may pump PW to land for treatment as on-shore PW, and 3) In rare circumstances off-shore re-injection is conducted. There are a number of environmental concerns with all existing practices of discharge. One of the most pressing concerns in the management of near-shore treatment on late-cycle fields PW. Near-shore platforms are those which are within site of shorelines or strongly impacting coastline marine systems and other human activity. These fields are commonly older. Commonly are producing 20 barrels of PW per 1 barrel of oil. The PW is generally highly saturated in organic acids, dissolved organics and in many cases radioactive minerals such as barium. Commercial Applications and Other Bene

Phase II

Contract Number: ----------
Start Date: ----    Completed: ----
Phase II year
(last award dollars: 2014)
Phase II Amount

The American Public Power Association estimates 14,000 permits for hydraulic fractured gas wells will be filed in PA, OH, NY and WV by 2016. Each of these permits will result in fracture operations needing 150,000 -1 million barrels of water. Frost and Sullivan, the market analysis firm estimates approximately 120 million bbl of water will have to be used in fracturing operations annually through 2025 to fully exploit the available and desired natural gas. A reasonable estimate is that 30% of this water, 40 million bbl, will return to the surface as flow back water. Flow back water contains a significant amounts of dissolved solids, chemical additives, and in late stages, hydrocarbons from the formation. ABSMaterials is developing water treatment system that removes organic contaminants from flow back water for recycling or reuse. The system can be used alone or to create treated feed water for membrane systems that can remove dissolved solids. The technology is based on Osorb, a patented swellable nano-engineered material with the ability to capture up to 8 times its weight in organics via reversible swelling. In Phase I of the project, a skid-mounted 4 gpm and trailer-mounted 60 gpm fluidized bed system were fabricated and tested with major oil service companies on the ABSMaterials campus. Results showed that & gt;95% organics were removed including hydrocarbons and surfactants. In addition, we began work to expand the use of Osorb to capture of metal ions from flow back water. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will convert pilot scale systems to treat flow back water to commercial-scale manufactured units. In Phase II, the 60 gpm pilot scale system will be enhanced and tested at several sites in North America to refine our system. In addition, a second larger ~250 gpm pilot system will be built as part of this project as the first prototype of a manufactured commercial system for field operations. It is anticipated that a system that can continuously operate and treat flow back water for $6-7/bbl will be achieved in 24 months. Key focus areas will be engineering and Osorb regeneration methods. ---------- ABSMaterials, Inc. of Wooster, Ohio has previously developed four important commercial innovations under SBIR development from the US Department of Energy and US National Science Foundation. These previous innovations, cleaning up water from brownfield sites and oil and gas drilling operations, have brought to the companys attention the difficult challenge of treating refinery waters for beneficial reuse. This SBIR IIB will build on the previous technology inventions allowing the company to attempt their innovative technology to energy efficient treatment of complex phenol and sulfur laden waters.