Selected by the Chinese Ministry of Environment as the one of the top environmental technologies in the world
Energy Efficiency In Water Treatment & Distribution Systems
Mr. David Bromley, M.Eng., P.Eng. is the author of the “Energy Efficiency in Water Infrastructure” as part of a book being edited by Mr. Craig Patterson M.Sc.,P.E. of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Energy consumption from pump usage in the public and private sector represent s over 20% of the energy demand in North America . Energy efficiency in pumping systems is a unique and easily achievable opportunity to reduce energy usage and carbon foot print. Energy efficiency can be achieved through numerous approaches. The obvious are more efficient pump motors and transmission systems. However real breakthroughs in this area will occur as a result of:
-- Technology to replace energy intensive membrane technology to remove colloidal solids
-- Inline turbine systems
-- Reversing pumps to act as turbines
-- Reducing pressures in mainline distribution systems and using variable speed pumps for local pressure distribution
-- Leak detection technology
-- Sensor and water audit technology
One of the principle areas of focus for Mr Bromley is in the area of data acquisition and data analytics to help facilitate all of the above technologies. In fact the Data Utility is becoming the most important utility in any community as it will allow for more efficient use of energy in buildings, energy distribution, local energy generation and water distribution systems by managing localized micro grid pressure needs. In fact Mr Bromley predicts the technology capability that is evolving through the use of data infrastructure will become the new economic revolution in continuous efficiency improvement and productivity.
David Bromley Engineering Ltd. has developed a unique technology called Nanoflotation. Nanoflotation uses concentrated ionically charged nano environments to cause repulsion of colloidal solids followed by attachment of solids. The repulsion and attachment processes result in a rapid, low energy method to separate colloidal solids from fluids:
Nanoflotation Overview (Patent Protected)
Description of the technology
The DBE Nanoflotation technology is an innovative approach to managing the nano-environment around colloidal solids. Most colloidal solids will not readily separate from water because of the electric double layer (EDL) around colloids. The EDL causes the colloids to remain in suspension, repelling each other. DBE’s Nanoflotation technology changes the environment around a colloidal solid for a very short time period causing the EDL to collapse. Solids for this moment in time separate from the fluid medium and attach to other solids or mediums because of van der Waal forces which overcome the diminished repulsive forces of the EDL. This concept has been attempted in the past by changing the quality of the water in which the solids are exposed. A typical method to cause the EDL to collapse is to add NaCl to water. The problem, of course, with this approach is that water quality becomes an issue that needs to be managed. The DBE Nanoflotation technology does not change the quality of the water to separate the solids. This technology greatly improves treatment of a wide variation of suspended solids, colloidal solids and nano particle concentrations. In addition it provides good reductions in scaling parameters like silica, barium, calcium, magnesium and manganese, as well as organic reduction in wastewater sourced from industrial or municipal applications. At the present time the technology has been applied to two very common methods of water treatment; flotation treatment and low pressure membrane treatment.
For flotation treatment systems, the application of the Nanoflotation technology is through the use of a surfactant and a “patent pending” high intensity mixing system. The high intensity mixing is caused by the froth generated from the use of the surfactant. The fluid containing the solids passes through a high intensity mixing zone which is also an ionically charged concentrated zone due to the surfactant that has attached to the air bubbles in the froth. This ionically charged environment causes the collapse of the EDL and the solids attach to the bubble in the froth where they float to the surface of a flotation chamber. Both the froth mixing technology and the use of the high ionically charged environment have been piloted and demonstrated with exceptional success on very difficult waters such as oil sands tailing pond waters, cooling water, landfill leachate, and refinery oily process waters.
For low pressure membrane systems such as ultrafiltration(UF), the patented membrane powder skin layer technology eliminates the problem of membrane fouling and instead encourages membrane fouling on a replaceable membrane skin layer (RSL) that is formed using a highly charged powder. The layers RSL powder media provides two environments: firstly, there is repulsion of the colloidal solids from the surface of the RSL. The EDL on the powder media at the surface of the replaceable skin layer (RSL) cause an EDL repulsion of the colloidal solids approaching the skin layer. This repulsion stops a layering or caking of the solids on the surface of the powder skin layer. In typical membrane systems a cross flow is used to stop the caking or layering of solids on the membrane skin layer. Cross flows are very energy intensive. However the reverse situation occurs once the solids enter the RSL media and move past the surface of the skin layer. The colloids eventually penetrate the RSL layer because of the pressure differential (TMP) across the RSL At this point the second environment becomes dominant. The concentrated ionically charged environment from the powder media of the RSL collapses the EDL and van der Waal forces become dominant. The colloids in the water attach to the RSL powder media or other solids due to van der Waal forces. The colloid solids are trapped within the skin layer powder layer. In the Nanoflotation Technology, the membrane skin layer is replaced in situ during a standard backwash cycle which lasts less than two minutes. A new powder media is added after backwash to create a new RSL.
The technology provides an effluent similar to other ultrafiltration membrane technologies but requires significantly less energy and capital costs. In addition, the use of the RSL increases flux rates on the membrane significantly (10 to 15 times when it was compared against a ceramic membrane competitor).
Not only is the efficiency 10 times greater, the design allows for the use of heat and corrosive resistant membrane substrates such as stainless steel. With the significantly improved flux rates, the cost of using temperature resistant material results in an overall cost similar to or less than the typically low cost polymeric membranes that are limited to a temperature of 40o C. The ability to treat at very high temperatures or in corrosive environments removes the need for energy intensive steps in the treatment process such as cooling or neutralization. For a facility that is dependent on steam generation, the Nanoflotation technology provides significant energy savings and correspondingly excellent CO2reductions. An example of a sector that will benefit significantly from this technology is the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) operations in the oil sands extraction sector.
The economic value of the technology is in its ability to treat water to ultrafiltration standards (e.g. 0.01 micron filtration) at lower capital and operating costs while improving reliability and ease of use.
-- The advances in mixing allows for rapid separation of solids reducing the retention time in, and therefore size of the froth flotation component.
-- The high flux rate on the membranes reduces overall tankage and membrane costs by 35% or more.
-- The high flux rate and an operating pressure of less than 1 bar, reduces energy consumption by 90% or more over conventional membrane technology. In addition the pilot plant testing has shown the ability to restore 100% flux rates after backwash. This capability provides a further improvement in energy consumption compared to conventional low pressure membrane technology.
-- High temperature applications eliminate the need to cool water before membrane treatment with conventional polymeric UF and RO membranes. The significant reduction in membrane area requirements, as a result of the high flux rates, allows for the use of temperature resistant materials such as stainless steel and ceramics without an increase in costs.
-- The flexibility of the membrane technology allows the powder skin layer membrane to compete against the conventional multimedia filter or disposable bag and cartridge filters. The Nanoflotation membrane technology relies on the skin layer powder on the membrane substrate to remove colloidal solids and not the membrane itself. For ultrafiltration treatment, the Nanoflotation membrane uses a 1.0 micron pore size opening versus the conventional 0.01 micron pore size opening for ultrafiltration membranes. For a multimedia filter comparison or disposable bag filter, it is expected that a larger pore size on the Nanoflotation membrane substrate (e.g. 10 microns) can be used. This larger pore size will result in higher flux rates matching the flow-through capacity and water quality of multimedia filters and disposable cartridges/bag filters.
Costs of Technology and Economics
A comparison of the vendor selling price of a conventional polymeric UF membrane versus the Nanoflotation technology for a 500 m3/hr treatment plant as well as the comparable operating costs are provided in Figure 3
Purlucid´s management team is comprised of veterans of the oil and gas service industry. The founder and CEO, Dr. Preston McEachern, is a respected leader in water management in the oil and gas industry with 23 years experience in solving water treatment challenges. He is actively engaged by clients in advisory roles, holds three faculty positions with Canadian Universities, and was the Vice President of Research and Development at one of the largest North American Oil and Gas Service company (Tervita) prior to forming Purlucid Treatment Solutions.
The President and COO, Pat Whelan, has more than 25 years in the Service sector. Pat founded Atlantic Directional Inc. in 2001 and successfully negotiated the sale of this company in 2011 to a large publicly traded drilling contractor. With a strong entrepreneurial vision Pat´s experience and expertise offers transaction management in many realms of business including: sales strategies, arbitrations, change management, complete enterprise accounting systems, negotiations and deal structuring. Having worked in Canada, USA, India, South America, and Middle East he has held such roles as: Technical Sales, VP Operations, Director of International Business Development as well as President & CEO.
The Chief Technology Officer, David Bromley, has 35 years of experience in water and wastewater treatment. He is internationally renowned for his expertise in filtration systems, technology for industrial applications and specifically is well respected in the oil and gas sector having designed, built and managed many oil and waste processing facilities through his company David Bromley Engineering.
The Director of Operations, Andrea Granger, has 13 years in client and contract management, project planning, business development and sales in the energy sector. President of the National Canadian Land Reclamation Association and Past President of the Alberta Chapter, she has an extensive network and exceptional client relations base in oil and gas. She has been instrumental at bringing in our largest clients and providing day to day operations management.
Our Operations Manager, Peter Gagnon, came to Purlucid from Tervita and several oilfield service companies preceding that. Peter has experience in commissioning new facilities and optimizing existing facilities. He has lead the optimization of injection facilities across North America, bringing his teams standard of excellence to each facility. With extensive experience in safely delivering complex projects across North America and in combat overseas, Peter ensures delivery excellence for our clients.
The Purlucid team has extensive experience in waste treatment and residuals management. We work with engineering, procurement and construction firms to design and build systems that meet our clients needs. Whether standard commercial technology our our own proprietary technologies, we commission systems and provide support or full operations services at fixed or mobile facilities throughout North America.
Our combined technologies are deployed with standard processes for oil recovery and processing to achieve exceptional sales oil quality. Our processes allow water and solids removal in a single step and can recover oil even when high concentrations of oil wet solids are present.
We deploy the our proprietary NANOFLOTATION system to achieve unsurpassed hydrocarbon recovery and ultrafiltered water. Perfect as pretreatment for reverse osmosis, the nanoflotation system integrates high-intensity froth flotation with a unique filtration system capable of removing particles to 0.01 microns in a system the solves fouling issues.
We deploy the revolutionary Evodos Spiral Plate Technology (SPT) along with conventional solids control (e.g. decanters, tricanters, shakers and cyclones) to recover water, hydrocarbons and reclaimable or disposable solids.
Purlucid provides high quality environmental services for private and public sector clients throughout the world. Our staff include individuals with over 30 years experience implementing projects in North America, the Caribbean, Asia, Europe and Africa.
"We reduced the specific gravity of decanted OBM from 1.1 to 0.91 and the d50 and d10 of particles from 8 μm and 2 μm to 1.1 μm and 0.4 μm. The recovered oil had <1% BSW." H. Boule et al., CTO Evodos, IOSTC Dec. 2014
"The Nanoflotation technology was capable of providing similar final effluent quality to UF ceramic membranes with flux rates 10 to 15 times higher. Turbidity was Dr. K. Loganathan, Process Development Specialist - CNRL, IWC paper, Nov 2013
"Nanoflotation provides the benefits of ultrafiltration in removing colloidal particles, reducing fouling and uses robust materials for treatment of water in high temperature and corrosive environments." M. Rogers, President - ATSI, NF Technology Review Report 2010
Demonstration of Nanoflotation Technology for Effluent Treatment
David Bromley Engineering Ltd
The oil and gas industry is working to reduce water use – but water is critical to the extraction of resources. The industry currently uses treatment processes that filter water through membranes and use high levels of chemicals and energy to produce filtered, clean effluent water. Nanoflotation technology could change that. Filtration is performed using a membrane that has a unique replaceable membrane layer technology. The replaceable membrane layer is a powder that causes the smallest particles in the water to separate from water and attach to the powder. Once the powder membrane layer is “full”, it is replaced with a new layer. This demonstration project will use three key wastewater streams from an oilsands operation (evaporator blow down, SAGD and fractured shale flow back waters) and will provide the basis for full-scale commercialization in oil-and-gas water treatment applications. This method of nanoflotation could reduce the use of energy by 65 percent and chemicals by 86 percent, resulting in 41 percent lower capital costs and 33 percent lower operating costs.
British Columbia CA
David Bromley Engineering Ltd
PurLucid Treatment Solutions Inc.
Total project value
MGX technology nominated for prestigious Katerva Award, the Nobel Prize of Sustainability
Report #17 (February 21, 2017)
Today, MGX Minerals announced that the nanoflotation technology, developed by David Bromley Engineering and licensed exclusively to MGX`s engineering and technology development partner PurLucid Treatment Solutions Inc., has been nominated for the prestigious Katerva Award, the "Nobel Prize of Sustainability".
The Katerva Award recognizes disruptive sustainable innovations from around the world. PurLucid´s/MGX`s patented nanoflotation technology, which is said to remove metals and physical particulate from oil and gas wastewater, has been nominated as one of the 10 finalists for the "Energy & Power" category. PurLucid has developed a lithium recovery method that relies on Nanoflotation as a core component of the water treatment and mineral recovery process. Purlucid holds exclusive rights to the technology for use in oil and gas water and brine treatment with the rights to expand licensing across sectors and geographies globally. In September 2016, MGX and PurLucid entered into a binding Acquisition Agreement (MGX has the right to acquire a 100% interest in PurLucid). According to Katerva:
"Katerva operates under the belief that the only useful and valid definition of innovation is “the process of change that creates and grows wealth.” As such, an idea or inspiration – regardless of its appeal on paper – only becomes an innovation once it has successfully proven itself in the marketplace. Success typically requires three other key ingredients:
Leadership Development: Remember the old Apple campaign, “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? We make tools for these kinds of people. While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do!"
Access to Investors: Money is the crude oil of innovation. Without it, even the most tenacious innovator eventually runs out of steam.
The Ability and Willingness to Collaborate: Individual product and services innovations seldom add any value in isolation; they must be integrated and physically “bundled” with a wide range of other physical and process technologies to be applied. This requires access to, and a willingness to collaborate with, strategic partners."
MGX and its management team may have all of such ingredients to be successful. When the pilot plant becomes operational and delivers results, independent appraisers will have the chance to verify the statements made by MGX, which had to be retracted, that its technology can potentially reduce recovery times of lithium and other minerals from about 18 months to 1 day. If and when MGX`s technology will be proven independently, its scientists should get nominated for a Nobel Price in Chemistry as the industrial and environmental implications would be colossal.
Arthur D. Little defined "sustainability-driven" innovation as "the creation of new market space, products and services or processes driven by social, environmental or sustainability issues." Clearly, MGX had been thrusted quickly to the forefront of the new energy economy by the surging lithium demand, acquired and developed a potentially disruptive new technology, and gave birth to a new industry by combining a water purification technology with an advanced nanofiltration technology. Now its all in the hands of MGX to get its pilot plant operational and deliver results in order to make this potentially ground-breaking innovation official.
“Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” (Steve Jobs asking John Sculley, former Pepsi Vice-President, to join Apple)
“Innovation Distinguishes Between A Leader And A Follower.” (Steve Jobs)
MGX Minerals Inc.
#303 - 1080 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6C 2T1
Phone: +1 604 681 7735
Shares Issued & Outstanding: 60,722,403
Canadian Symbol (CSE): XMG
Current Price: $1.36 CAD (02/24/2017)
Market Capitalization: $83 million CAD
German Symbol / WKN (Tradegate): 1MG / A12E3P
Current Price: €0.99 EUR (02/24/2017)
Market Capitalization: €60 million EUR
Report #16 “Unconventional oil play legend Marc Bruner to take MGX and PetroLithium to the next level“
Report #15 “Total Conviction: MGX forms PetroLithium Corp. to expand into the US oilfield brine markets“
Report #14: “MGX Extracts Lithium from Oil Wastewater - Begins Monumental Integration with Big Oil“
Report #13 "MGX Partners with Oil Major on Lithium Brine, New Energy Industry Facing Fundamental Shift“
Report #12 "Game Changing Potential: MGX Minerals‘ Pilot Plant for Rapid Production of Lithium Nears Completion“
Report #11 "MGX assays 34 g/t gold from surface sampling in British Columbia“
Report #10 “Official: MGX owns magnesium worth multi-billions of dollars and starts pilot plant shortly“
Report #9 “One of the world‘s largest lithium resources on the horizon?“
Report #8 “Ready for significant lithium brine work in Alberta“
Report #7 “At the forefront of Alberta‘s lithium brine riches“
Report #6 “Pioneering Lithium in Alberta: MGX Minerals Teams Up“
Report #5 “Time to Put a Lithium Production Process in Place“
Report #4 “MGX Minerals Taps Into Canada‘s Potentially Largest High-Grade Lithium Resources“
Report #3 “MGX Minerals Receives Mining Lease for 20 years (in British Columbia!)“
Report #2 “MGX Minerals Accelerates Towards Production“
Report #1 “MGX Minerals Plans To Enter The Magnesium Market“
Disclaimer: Please read the full disclaimer within the full research report as a PDF (here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist.