VANCOUVER, B.C. – Geoscience BC has published a report detailing a process that can be used during energy production to reduce wastewater volumes, emissions and transport.

The final report from the Saltworks Airbreather Pilot assesses a process that uses heat already generated during natural gas production to reduce the volume of saline wastewater while producing either clean water or water vapour for more economical and environmentally safe disposal.

“Innovative technologies that can positively impact wastewater treatment and disposal methods in BC’s Northeast Region will be important in supporting Canada’s move towards its net-zero targets,” said Randy Hughes, Geoscience BC Manager of Energy and Water.

“The Saltworks Airbreather Pilot project helps improve the understanding of produced brines and the technology needed to treat them.”

According to a Geoscience BC release, the Saltworks Technologies Inc. team used wastewater, or brines, shipped from Montney Play producing gas wells to Richmond and used an evaporation technology known as air humidification-dehumidification.

Their work demonstrated that the technology could produce industrial-quality solid salt and water that meets aquatic life water quality regulations.

It also shows that the level of sulphate compounds in the brines can affect the ability of the salt to meet quality requirements for industrial applications, such as road salt, said a release.

According to the release, the report recommends the technology, stating it’s the best option to produce concentrated brine solutions that could limit the volume of water to be disposed of. It also says using vacuum evaporative crystallizer technology would be better to remove the water altogether, known as “Zero Liquid Discharge.”

Saltworks’ Airbreather is an inventive evaporation alternative designed to garner positive environmental results,” said John Adams, President and CEO of NGIF Capital Corporation.

“NGIF is proud to support Saltworks in the development of this technology and is optimistic for the positive results it would have for the natural gas producers.”

The project was funded by Geoscience BC and NGIF Industry Grants, an NGIF Capital Corporation division.

Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.