Polymer flooding enhances oil recovery, but during the application of this technology, it also creates a large amount of polymer-contained produced water that poses a threat to the environment. The current processing is mainly focused on being able to meet the re-injection requirements. However, many processes face the challenges of purifying effect, facilities pollution, and economical justification in the field practice. In the present work, to fully understand the structure and principle of the oil field filter tank, and based on geometric similarity and similar flow, a set of self-designed filtration simulation devices is used to study the treatment of polymer-contained produced water in order to facilitate the satisfaction of the water injection requirements for medium- and low-permeability reservoirs. The results show that, due to the existence of polymers in oil field produced water, a stable colloidal system is formed on the surface of the filter medium, which reduces the adsorption of oil droplets and suspended solids by the filter medium. The existence of the polymers also increases the viscosity of water, promotes the emulsification of oil pollution, and increases the difficulty of filtration and separation. As filtration progresses, the adsorption of the polymers by the filter medium bed reaches saturation, and the polymers and oil pollution contents in the filtered water increase gradually. The concentration and particle size of the suspended solids eventually exceed the permissible standards for filtered water quality; this is mainly due to the unreasonable size of the particle in relation to the filter medium gradation and the competitive adsorption between the polymers and the suspended solids on the surface of the filter medium. The oil concentration of the filtered water also exceeds the allowable standards and results from the polymers replace the oil droplets in the pores and on the surfaces of the filter medium. Moreover, the suspended particles of the biomass, composed of dead bacteria, hyphae, and spores, have strong attachment and carrying ability with respect to oil droplets, which cause the suspended solids in the filtered water to exceed the permissible standards and oil droplets to be retained in the filtered effluent at the same time.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited