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UTA expands efforts to develop water recycling technologies

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William Cutright
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The Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation at The University of Texas at Arlington has expanded its partnership with oil field equipment supplier Challenger Water Solutions to develop water recycling technologies that will transform waste from unconventional oil and gas development into reusable water.

This collaboration has already resulted in a study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, where CLEAR evaluated a modular, multi-step water treatment system designed by CWS within the contexts of reuse for production well stimulation.

The CLEAR research team determined that under a wide range of conditions, multiple treatment modalities were required to remove pertinent contaminants, the presence of which can preclude oilfield waste from being recycled and reused.

"As hydrocarbon extraction has expanded considerably across Texas, particularly in western Texas, so too has the reliance on fresh water resources to facilitate the stimulation of production wells," said Kevin Schug, interim associate dean of the College of Science and Director of CLEAR.

"This has provided a tremendous impetus for the recycling and reuse of produced waste, both of which are very difficult to accomplish effectively and economically given the physiochemical complexities of these waste solutions."

"Through this partnership with Challenger Water Solutions, we have been able to assess important organic, inorganic and biological constituents throughout the multi-step process, whereby we found that waste streams could be transformed into a resource for reuse by the oil and gas industry," he said.

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