Houston, TX Feb 7 2023 | Water is the cornerstone of life on our planet. But most people don’t realize that nearly all of humanity’s industrial processes use water – and therefore create wastewater.
To understand the scale, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the largest semiconductor company in the world, uses about 1.5 million barrels of water per day to process semiconductors in Taiwan. One barrel—or BBL in the energy sector—is 42 U.S. gallons, meaning that the TSMC foundry uses 63 million gallons of water every day.
On Tuesday, Oceanit founder and CEO, Dr. Patrick Sullivan delivered the keynote address at the Produced Water Society annual seminar, addressing attendees on the subject of water as our next major natural resource focus for the planet – a resource that already impacts all of humanity. During the presentation, Dr. Sullivan introduced HALO, a directed energy technology capable of turning wastewater, which includes any water unfit for it’s intended purpose, into valuable commodity such as hydrogen and other valuable minerals.
Produced water is a category of wastewater in the energy world that consists of waste byproduct of oil and gas extraction that comes from deep in the earth. Most oil- and gas-bearing rock also contains water, along with salt and minerals, so when those resources are extracted from these rocks, produced water comes out too.
“In some locations, for every barrel of oil recovered, 50 barrels of produced water comes with it,” said Dr. Sullivan. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), produced water can be up to 10 times more saline than seawater, and can also contain varying amounts of oil residues, chemicals from fracking, bacteria, natural radioactive materials, dissolved organics, and more.
According to EPA, the amount of produced water generated in the United States is estimated at up to 25 billion barrels (BBLs) per year. Turning this huge amount of wastewater into a resource has become a novel idea as part of the push for global energy transition. Oceanit progressing along this path over the past year, via the HALO project.
“HALO is our directed energy technology that turns produced water, a waste product, into something valuable like hydrogen, minerals, and fresh water. It’s a way to turn lemons into lemonade”, said Dr. Sullivan. “The hydrogen can then be used for a variety of purposes, including producing electricity with fuel cells.”
HALO takes any produced water and with no pre-treatment, extracts large amounts of valuable hydrogen gas, as well as other value-add elements and metals. HALO offers a solution for both H2 production and the management of huge amounts of produced water that the oil and gas industry creates.
HALO is just one of several technologies that Oceanit is developing under EDGE (Energy Decarbonization for the Global Environment) to support the global energy transformation and make hydrogen a viable clean-burning fuel source for a greener future.
The annual seminar ran from February 7-9 at Houston’s Royal Sonestra. the Produced Water Society is a 501 (c)(3) educational organization serving water professionals in the oil & gas industry. The mission of the Society is to improve produced water management to the benefit of the environment and the industry. Learn more by clicking here.