Texas Patent of the Month – December 2021

Gas flaring is a process used in the oil and gas industry. It refers to the combustion of gas generated during various processes including oil and gas recovery, CBM production, petrochemical process and landfill gas extraction.

Produced water refers to the water that comes out of the well during mining. This water often contains both soluble and insoluble organics and is rarely usable without intensive treatment. The water cannot just be injected back into the ground without potentially causing seismic complications. This leaves the produced water as a nuisance byproduct.

Hydrozonix, LLC has developed a method of gas flaring using produced water. The system is installed near the wellhead, which means the produced water does not need to be transported to centralized systems beforehand. Since it happens on site, the produced water is also substantially warmer than if it had been transported, which reduces the amount of energy needed for gas flaring.

The water is treated in a scrubber. The wet scrubber is then used to clean emissions, reducing the amount of nitrous oxides, sulfur oxides, and particulate matter that is released. Heat is applied through a flare gas field burner using field gas from the oilfield operations. The produced water circulated through the spray nozzles in the scrubber to optimize the contact between the hot air and water. At the same time, the produced water gradually evaporates. Salts and other solids which were in the water accumulate in the scrubber and are routinely cleaned out and treated to ensure they are not hazardous.

By combining these practices, this gas flaring process is significantly more environmentally friendly than a traditional process, and offers greater efficiency and economic benefits to the company.

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