Application of membrane distillation for the treatment of oil field produced water

Moza Al-Salmi, Mourad Laqbaqbi, Sulaiman Al-Obaidani, Rashid S. Al-Maamari, Mohamed Khayet, Mohammed Al-Abri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) was investigated for the treatment of oil-field produced water using a hydrophobic polypropylene (PP) membrane with 0.2 μm pore size. The DCMD performance was studied under different feed temperatures ranged from 40 °C to 80 °C while the cooling temperature was maintained at 23 °C. Increasing the feed water temperature resulted in a higher permeate water flux. Stable and reliable DCMD membrane performance was observed for all used membranes. The obtained results indicated the great potential of DCMD to treat hypersaline oil-field produced water with an overall rejection of salts higher than 99.9% and that of total organic carbon (TOC) greater than 93.3%. This was due to the presence of volatile organic compounds in oil-field water. Pre-treatment of produced water using 0.45 μm filter did not show much effect on the DCMD performance. A slight gradual reduction of the permeate flux was observed due to fouling phenomenon. A simple washing the membrane with de-ionized water was found to be an effective method for cleaning the membrane and restoring the permeate flux indicating the absence of irreversible fouling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114678
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 2020


  • Fouling
  • Membrane distillation
  • Oil-field produced water
  • Polypropylene membrane
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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