Technology to Create New Water Source for Marcellus Operators

In this process, a hydrocarbon solvent extractant is mixed with contaminated water; the metal and sulfate are attracted into the oil layer and removed from the acid mine drainage water, which is then divided by an oil-water separator. The end product is water that is clean and ready to be used as source water or can be discharged into Pennsylvania’s watershed. 

Besides clean water, the process produces metal sulfates and sodium sulfates. The sodium sulfate can be used to treat flowback water to remove some of the total dissolved solids. Solvent extraction has been practiced in the mining industry for years to recover copper, uranium and other metals, said Ontiveros.

Lane sees synergies between this technology and its use in treating acid mine drainage with Winner’s wastewater treatment business for flowback and produced water.

“If there is a market for water treatment using this compound, it will expand our business offerings,” Ontiveros noted.

Technology to Create New Water Source for Marcellus Operators
Two skid-mounted Hydro Flex treatment units consisting of a mixer and oil-water separator. Source: Winner Water Services

Winner is also is talking to companies about providing water treatment solution for flowback and produced water. Ontiveros said the company is actively engaging with a couple of companies about these opportunities. Through this second business, Winner can provide a technical solution for treating produced and flowback water to remove total dissolved solids.

“What we have found is that different companies have different standards, and the amount of treatment varies with those standards,” Ontiveros said, noting that the company is technology agnostic. “We’re not promoting a technology, just the best solution to a problem.” That solution could involve consultations, building equipment for a client, and even setting up and operating equipment as a service. “We’re trying to be agile and responsive to their needs.”

Annie Lane, who works for Battelle and provides research and development and technical support to Winner, said Winner is viewed as Battelle’s arm to take new technologies to market from Battelle. Winner in turn brings back specific market requirements to help Battelle find new solutions.


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