Visible light photocatalytic degradation of HPAM polymer in oil produced water using supported zinc oxide nanorods

Jamal Al-Sabahi, Tanujjal Bora, Michel Claereboudt, Mohammed Al-Abri, Joydeep Dutta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Polymer flooding displacement ability during petroleum extraction from the earth's crust plays an important role in enhanced oil recovery processes. Produced water, as a byproduct, still contain high concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons and partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) which is a serious environmental concern. Remediating produced water economically is a big challenge for meeting the permissible discharge limits leading to failure in the effectiveness of the conventional water treatment technologies. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are playing increasing role in the treatment of polluted water and is receiving much attention in recent times as a green and safer water treatment technology. Here we report a new approach to use vertically aligned zinc oxide nanorods (ZnO NRs) supported on substrates engineered for improving their visible light harvesting capacity for effective solar photocatalytic degradation of HPAM. The viscosity of collected oilfield produced water containing HPAM were found to be reduced dramatically when the samples are photocatalytically degraded using ZnO nanorod catalysts irradiated with simulated solar light showing a reduction of 51% within 6 h. With high pressure liquid chromatography 68, 62, 56 and 45% removal of 25, 50, 100 and 150 ppm HPAM, respectively, was demonstrated. The pH of the solution was observed to move to acidic region due to acetamide, nitrate, propionamide and acetic acid which are the intermediate byproducts formed during degradation as determined by mass spectrometry. Zinc oxide nanorod coatings showed about 74% removal efficiency over 5 cycles with less than 1.2% removal of zinc ions after 6 h of light irradiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-64
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume351
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018

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Keywords

  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • HPAM
  • Produced water
  • Solar photocatalysis
  • Zinc oxide nanorods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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