Novel photocatalytic reactor development for removal of hydrocarbons from water.
Robertson, Peter K. J.
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Hydrocarbons contamination of the marine environment generated by the offshore oil and gas industry is generated from a number of sources including oil contaminated drill cuttings and produced waters. The removal of hydrocarbons from both these sources is one of the most significant challenges facing this sector as it moves towards zero emissions. The application of a number of techniques which have been used to successfully destroy hydrocarbons in produced water and waste water effluents has previously been reported. This paper reports the application of semiconductor photocatalysis as a final polishing step for the removal of hydrocarbons from two waste effluent sources. Two reactor concepts were considered: a simple flat plate immobilised film unit, and a new rotating drum photocatalytic reactor. Both units proved to be effective in removing residual hydrocarbons from the effluent with the drum reactor reducing the hydrocarbon content by 90% under 10 minutes.