Effects of sour oilfield produced water on direct contact membrane distillation systems

Debora Salomon Marques, Guillaume Raynel, Duaa Al-Saeed, Mohammad Al-Thabet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A fully corrosion-resistant direct contact membrane distillation system has been built to test the viability of desalinating oil field produced water using fluorinated polyoxadiazole (F-POD) hollow fiber membranes. This highly hydrophobic membrane material was designed to endure the harsh conditions of Arabian oil field produced waters. These waters have high salinity, and the presence of dissolved organic compounds and gases - including hydrogen sulfide (H2S). The hazards associated with H2S require special safety controls. In this paper, the desalination of sour produced water with membrane distillation is compared with Gulf Sea water from the East Coast of Saudi Arabia. The effect of the produced water on the efficiency of the membrane distillation was evaluated in terms of distillation flux and salt rejection. The high salinity, the presence of H2S, and volatile organic compounds (VOC) are found to negatively impact the flux and salt rejection.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125593
JournalMaterials Chemistry and Physics
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-01-18
Acknowledgements: The authors thank the Nanostructured Polymeric Membrane Lab from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for providing the hollow fiber membranes under the research agreement sponsored by Saudi Aramco (reference - RGC/3/1582-01-01). The authors also wish to thank the Research Support Team (RSD) from the Saudi Aramco Research & Development Center for the technical expertise provided to build the automated Membrane Distillation system, and the Technical Services Division (TSD) for the chemical analyses.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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