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Hydrogen-Recovery Using an AI-Arc-Plasma Learning Operational System (HALO) for Oilfield Waste Transformation to Value Added Products

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0022504
Agency Tracking Number: 0000263218
Amount: $200,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: C53-21b
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-02-14
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-11-13
Small Business Information
828 Fort Street Mall, Suite 600
Honolulu, HI 96813-4314
United States
DUNS: 144540283
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Erika Brown
 (808) 531-3017
Business Contact
 Ken Cheung
Phone: (808) 531-3017
Research Institution

Oil and gas exploration and production operation generates large volumes of wastewater (produced water) and some estimate that produced water and oil ratio ranges between 1:1 to 100:1. In US, the Ground Water Protection Council estimates in their 2019 Produced Water Report that produced water generation in 2012 was 890 billion gallons. Produced water is a global problem that significantly impacts overall production and operation of oil and gas wells which is especially challenging in geographical locations such as in the Middle East, Africa and parts of America that have minimal water resources and high cost of water purification which has resulted in interest to find alternative ways to treat, and reuse produced water. In order to mitigate the need for disposal options for produced water, Oceanit proposes the utilization of an arc-plasma reactor to break the water phase into constituent components, generating hydrogen that can be used as a fuel. This method will also separate solid constituents from the produced brine, leading to the possibility of resource recovery of value-added products such as heavy metals or minerals. Phase I will focus on lab-scale validation of the arc plasma reaction process, creating an AI control system, and validating the techno-economic potential of the project when scaled. Creation of a bench-scale apparatus operated as a batch process will allow testing and optimization of the plasma reaction and validate solids collection by varying the operating conditions and the feedstock composition. Modeling of the process will also be conducted to predict conditions which may lead to the most favorable product outcomes. If successful in the laboratory proof of concept is successful in Phase I, Phase II efforts will focus on scaling up the reactor system such that it can be operated as a continuous process. The AI control will be tested on the scaled-up system and developed to optimize the continuous reaction. The HALO system could allow for a mobile and modular system which is adaptable to a variety of feedstock compositions and flowrates. A fully developed HALO system could treat produced water directly at the point of generation, reducing the needs for transportation and processing of large quantities of contaminated water.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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