Characterization of wood biochar and evaluation of its adsorption potential for removal of sulphate from produced water in offshore oil and gas industry

Marambage, Yashodha Gayanthree (2016) Characterization of wood biochar and evaluation of its adsorption potential for removal of sulphate from produced water in offshore oil and gas industry. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis analyses the potential of wood biochar as an adsorbent in removal of sulphate from produced water. In worldwide offshore oil and gas industry, a large volume of waste water is generated as produced water. Sulphur compounds present in these produced water streams can cause environmental problems, regulatory problems and operational issues. Among the various sulphur removal technologies, the adsorption technique is considered as a suitable method since the design is simple, compact, economical and robust. Biochar has been studied as an adsorbent for removal of contaminants from water in a number of studies due to its low cost, potential availability, and adsorptive characteristics. In this study, biochar produced through fast pyrolysis of bark, hardwood sawdust, and softwood sawdust were characterized through a series of tests and were analysed for adsorbent properties. Treating produced water using biochar sourced from wood waste is a two-fold solution to environmental problems as it reduces the volume of these wastes. Batch adsorption tests were carried out to obtain adsorption capacities of each biochar sample using sodium sulphate solutions. The highest sulphur adsorption capacities obtained for hardwood char, softwood char and bark char were 11.81 mg/g, 9.44 mg/g, and 7.94 mg/g respectively at 10 °C and pH=4. The adsorption process followed the second order kinetic model and the Freundlich isotherm model. Adsorption reaction was thermodynamically favourable and exothermic. The overall analysis concludes that the wood biochar is a feasible, economical, and environmental adsorbent for removal of sulphate from produced water.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 11692
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: Adsorption, Biochar, Sulphate removal, Produced water, Offshore oil and gas
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: May 2016
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Biochar--Absorption and adsorption; Oil field brines--Purification; Oil field brines--Desulfurization; Water--Purification--Adsorption; Water--Purification--Ion exchange process

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