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On-Site Treatment of Shale Gas Flowback and Produced Water in Sichuan Basin by Fertilizer Drawn Forward Osmosis for Irrigation

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journal contribution
posted on 04.08.2020, 17:09 by Haiqing Chang, Shi Liu, Tiezheng Tong, Qiping He, John C. Crittenden, Radisav D. Vidic, Baicang Liu
Fertilizer drawn forward osmosis (FDFO) was proposed to extract fresh water from flowback and produced water (FPW) from shale gas extraction for irrigation, with fertilizer types and membrane orientations assessed. The draw solution (DS) with NH4H2PO4 displayed the best performance, while the DS with (NH4)2HPO4 resulted in the most severe membrane fouling. The DS with KCl and KNO3 led to substantial reverse solute fluxes. The FDFO operation where the active layer of the membrane was facing the feed solution outperformed that when the active layer was facing the DS. The diluted DS and diluted FPW samples were used for irrigation of Cherry radish and Chinese cabbage. Compared to deionized water, irrigation with the diluted DS (total dissolved solid (TDS) = 350 mg·L–1) promoted plant growth. In contrast, inhibited plant growth was observed when FPW with high salinity (TDS = 5000 mg·L–1) and low salinity (TDS = 1000 mg·L–1) was used for irrigation of long-term (8-week) plant cultures. Finally, upregulated genes were identified to illustrate the difference in plant growth. The results of this study provide a guide for efficient and safe use of FPW after FDFO treatment for agricultural application.