EPCON CFU Technology

All-inclusive field proven technology for treating produced water

The M-I SWACO Epcon Compact Flotation Unit (CFU) is a well-proven environmental solution to treating the increasing volumes of produced water. It has been shown to reduce oil in produced water content to below 5 ppm. Further, it has been validated as significantly reducing harmful soluble oil pollutants such as PAHs, alkylated phenols and BTEX compounds.

Epcon CFU technology is a reliable and cost-efficient alternative to traditional produced water treatment systems. It can be integrated with the Cyclotech B20 deoiling hydrocyclone to deliver  ultimate separation performance.

Principle of Operation

The EPCON CFU technology is a vertical compact flotation vessel that separates oil from water. It has a smaller volume and shorter retention time than traditional flotation units. The water enters the Epcon CFU vessel horizontally, in a tangential direction. The separation process is aided by internal devices and a gas flotation effect caused by the release of residual gas from the water and/or added gas. Oil droplets are made to agglomerate and coalesce, facilitating separation from the water. Treated water exits through the bottom of the Epcon CFU vessel.

Separated oil and gas is removed in a continuous process via a suspended pipe at the top of the vessel. This multiphase flow – called the reject – is controlled by a valve located on the outlet pipe. The liquid rate of the reject reflects typically 1% of the overall inlet water flow to the Epcon CFU system. In addition, the oil content in this stream  normally is 0.5 to 10%. A vessel with an operation volume of only 2.4 m3 (83 ft3) can treat a water flow up to 220 m3/h (33,000 bbl/d).

Measurable Results

Single-step separation using the Epcon CFU technology has been proven to reduce the oil-in-water content to below 10 ppm, while simultaneously degassing the water. In some applications, two Epcon CFU vessels in serial operation have been proven to reduce the oil-in-water content to below 5 ppm.

Enhanced separation efficiency can be achieved with the introduction of chemicals such as flocculants and water clarifiers. Further, for soluble oil pollutants, its gas stripping effect optimizes reduction in dispersed oil. The use of flotation gas can reduce PAHs up to 83% and up to 880% in BTE Xs.

The Benefits

Epcon CFU technology is engineered to interface with other offshore and onshore production  systems. It can be designed to fit all flow rates and can easily be customized to fit local conditions and requirements. Further, its benefits include:

  • A small footprint and low weight
  • Robust construction
  • No external energy required
  • Long operating life
  • Minimum maintenance
  • No small bore openings
  • No rotating parts
  • Wide operational range
  • Easy to operate.

Additional Services

Complementing the Epcon CFU technology is a series of added-value services, including:

  • Field testing to assess the expected performance of an Epcon CFU system in a full-scale installation. The field test equipment, including two vessels and accessories, have a treatment capacity of  20 ft3 (6 m3)/ hour
  • Two workers easily can carry the equipment for testing at different locations in the process
  • Field survey work to ensure it can be integrated into any existing treatment process, or to explore the potential to add optimizations to an existing system to enhance performance
  • Pre-study services, deploying highly-skilled process engineers in a pre-study phase for projects relating to produced water treatment activity
  • Long- and short-term rental systems (skid-based) featuring units across the size spectrum in treatment capacity terms
  • Training programs involving theory, computer-based simulations and practical operations understanding of the process can be held either at our test facilities in Porsgrunn, Norway or on location where an Epcon CFU unit is installed.

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