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Industrial Waste-Water Remediation

Industrial Waste Water Remediation... read more

HIOS Systems

Removing Biosolids from Wastewater

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Agriculture

Organic Agriculture

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Industrial Water Remediation

Offshore Oil Drilling Platform at NightMany industrial processes require large volumes of water. This presents significant issues regarding procuring, transporting, utilizing and ultimately treating or disposing of the water when the process is finished. Too often the industrial wastewater becomes a liability where it has become difficult and expensive to clean or dispose of. This frequenlty means vast volumes of industrial wastewater languishes in tailings ponds or other storage facilities posing a significant risk to the health of the environment.

While traditional filtration methods, such as reverse osmosis, may work for small volumes of water, when faced with large volumes of polluted water they become cost prohibitive. This is where the NOAH systems can provide a reliable, inexpensive, environmentally friendly solution to the worst industrial waste water problems.

Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) discharge into tailings facilityHydraulic Fracturing, or fracking as it is commonly referred to, requires vast quantities of water to release the natural gas stored in the shale layers. The flow-back water from fracking presents a significant challenge for the remediation process because it contains so many different types of contaminants, including:

  • Proppants: Sand, silica or ceramics used to hold the shale layer open after fracturing. The abrasive nature of the proppants takes a heavy toll on industrial equipment and causes rapid fouling of traditional filtration systems.
  • Chemicals: To prepare the water for its intended purpose several chemicals are added to the fracking mixture. These chemicals range from the somewhat benign to extremely toxic which means the water needs to be handled with extreme care.
  • Brines: The water typically contains very high salt content. Traditional remediation requires an expensive, high-energy desalination process.
  • Flowback Contaminants: The water doesn't just come back the way it was sent down, instead it returns caring various types of hydrocarbons, minerals including heavy metals, and frequently Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORMs). Each of these requires a different process for treatment.

Because the NOAH system is comprised of several different components it has the ability to handle each of these diverse problems in an efficient, environmentally friendly manner.

Oil Sands Water

Oil Sands Wateer being discharged into a Tailings FacilityThe Alberta's oil sands are the third-largest proven crude oil reserve in the world, next to only Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Oil sand is a naturally occurring mixture of sand, clay or other minerals, water and bitumen, which is a heavy and extremely viscous oil that must be treated before it can be used by refineries.

Water is an essential part of extracting petroleum from the oil sands. Warm water is used to separate the bitumen from the sand and clay. For certain drilling operations, water is used to generate steam to heat the reservoir to enable bitumen to flow to production wells. The end result leaves vast amounts of water stored in tailings ponds where the combination of oil and sand in the water makes it an extremely difficult mixture to remediate using traditional methods.

The sonication process in the NOAH system has been proven to cause a rapid emulsification of immiscible fluids, which means that we can efficiently separate the oil and water in an effective manner. This allows for the recovery of the waste oil for processing or reduction through our bacterial digesters and allows the sand to drop out naturally.

Mine Tailings Ponds

Mine Tailings Storage FacilityIn an effort to eliminate Acid Rock Drainage (ARD) Mines take the ground up rock from which the minerals have been extracted and submerge it in water. ARD is formed by the natural oxidation of relatively common sulphide minerals when they are exposed to water and air. To mitigate the potential for ARD virtually all the surface water around a mine site along with water drained from the mine pit and used in the extraction process, ends up in the tailings pond. This generally results in enormous holding ponds containing millions of gallons of water.

Fortunately when mines are operated responsibly and use current best practices, most of the water is treated before entering the tailings ponds. Therefore the water in a typical mine tailings facilities is only marginally above the government standards that allow it to be released into the natural environment. However the small amount becomes an enormous barrier to release because using traditional filtration methods the cost of reducing the mineralization to acceptable standards becomes cost prohibitive.

The is where the NOAH system really shines. Our demonstrated ability to rapidly reduce mineralization using our low-cost, low-energy sonication technology means we can quickly reduce mine tailings water to drinking water standards. Then our HIOS systems can elevate the oxygen levels creating extremely healthy water -- optimized for fish habitat, in particular for trout and salmon.

Leachate from Landfill Sites

Leachate forming from Garbage Landfill siteLeachate is a substance that is formed when garbage or community waste with some moisture is stored for a long time in an anaerobic state.  (Void of air and oxygen).  The situation is made worse when rain water increases the moisture level in the waste and the waste "cooks" producing an organic liquid which can seep into the ground water or aquifer. All collection areas product leachate, the problem is a world-wide epidemic.

The are two two basic types of leachate, that which is produced in landfills and garbage dumps, the second type is leachate from power plants. This leachate is from the ash that is the result of the burning of waste to create steam to run a turbine to produce electric power.  The leachate produced is very high in volume (about ten% of all the waste that is burned). This leachate is also very high in pH and is difficult to process to something that can be released into the environment.

The NOAH treatment uses our standard systems to raise the oxygen level which allows nature to select the bacteria which is ideal for the consumption of the organic leachate. The inorganic leachate can be removed using the primary filtration system which releases ions that  bond to the conductive particles in the waste (leachate) stream. The added weight of the ions allows the particles to drop out of the solution.

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