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Pure water extracted from waste streams

Wastewater produced by the oil and mining industries could soon be more efficiently and effectively utilised thanks to a new water-purification technology using solar energy to produce reusable distilled water.

Brisbane-based company JWA Oilfield Supplies are now offering the Flamingo concentrated solar distiller technology, which harnesses solar energy to extract moisture from the waste streams generated by oil and gas and mining industries.

The zero-carbon multi-distiller technology delivers an output of pure distilled water and dried slurry, allowing resource companies to reuse water from their operations, but also to provide treated water to local communities and for environmental use.

JWA Business Development Manager Hensley Wee said the technology allows for resource companies to contribute to sustainability initiatives by recycling minerals and resources that would otherwise be classified as waste.

“This technology will allow resource companies to view and tackle waste streams in an entirely new manner and progress further towards sustainable mining,” Wee said.

“Water is an increasingly precious commodity which we cannot afford to squander away.”

The breakthrough technology is now one of three finalists for the Resource Industry Network’s prestigious ‘Out of the Box Award’, which celebrates innovation in new products or services.

The innovative new approach meets the challenge  faced by the oil and gas sector of treating produced water, which is the largest waste stream generated during hydrocarbon extraction.

The wastewater stream produced contains various organic and inorganic compounds at variable concentrations, which can be difficult to treat for either re-use in mine operations or for discharge.

As a result, resource and mining companies operating in arid areas often purchase and cart clean water to continually meet their operational needs. Meanwhile, the wastewater stream is either discharged into evaporation ponds or treated using expensive reverse osmosis technology.

The innovative new technology aims to achieve more efficient and financially viable solutions to major water issues faced by the resource industry.

JWA has partnered with Bridgeport Energy to trial the Flamingo concentrated solar treatment unit at one of its sites.