Oil & Gas

Lewatit® and Lewabrane® for water treatment in oil and gas extraction


Water has an important role to play in the non-conventional exploitation of oil and gas reserves – an area that has gained in importance in recent years due to the increasing scarcity of raw materials and rising energy prices.

This applies to deep-sea and oil sands exploitation, particularly the unlocking of fuel oil and bitumen deposits using steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) or cyclic steam simulation (CSS). This also applies to the fracking process that has recently become widely used to extract shale gas.

Large volumes of water are also required for using pit gases in mines or extracting coal seam gas (CSG) or coal bed methane (CBM). To meet the requirements of water purity legislation, the water must be softened before use and have the sodium, chloride and sulfate largely removed afterward.

These large volumes of water have to be treated before they can be used in recirculating processes again and cleaned before they are finally disposed of as wastewater. Ion exchange provides selective and efficient possibilities for separating off pollutants such as heavy metals or organic auxiliary materials. Ion exchange and reverse osmosis can also be used together for water treatment in non-conventional gas production.

Ion exchange resins are also indispensable wherever steam is used. As in thermal power plants, they ensure that water-steam cycles operate reliably and with little maintenance. This requires careful treatment of the make-up water, and also high-performance condensate polishing. Membrane processes are an expedient and economically sound addition to ion exchange when it comes to treating feed water with elevated salt content levels. LANXESS offers a whole range of membrane elements for this purpose under the Lewabrane® brand name.

The LewaPlus™ design program developed by LANXESS enables the tailor-made planning of such facilities for water-steam cycles.