In recent years, tailings ponds have attracted controversy as producers struggle to manage the high quantities of produced water associated with oil sands extraction. While tailings ponds grow in size, cost barriers for large-scale wastewater treatment remain high.
MGX Minerals and its partner PurLucid have developed a low-cost, low-energy nanofiltration process that removes pollutants from wastewater produced from oil sands extraction. Due to its low inputs and potential to recover lithium, the technology offers a pathway to overcoming both the financial and regulatory issues associated with wastewater disposal.
Through multiple levels of filtration, the nanofiltration process creates two products: recycled water that can be reused for industrial processes such as enhanced oil recovery or crop irrigation; and petrolithium, which can offset wastewater treatment costs by creating a potential new revenue source for the producer. Moreover, the technology is designed for onsite treatment of wastewater and re-use, which saves the costs and social risks associated with off-site wastewater transportation.
This presentation will provide an overview of this new filtration process and how oil sands companies can use it to both address wastewater management challenges and create a new mineral revenue source.