Oil sludge is the scourge of all oil-producing countries. Their formation, like slags in metallurgy, is an inevitable and irreversible process. Drilling wells, refining oil, leaks from oil pipelines and storage tanks are just some of the causes of sludge.
They pollute the soil and pour out into whole lakes of fetid slurry that poison nature and human life. In addition, as a result of all sorts of leaks, humanity loses 120-200 million tons of produced liquid hydrocarbons every year, of which 15-25 million tons are lost in Russia. If they did not disappear, but were processed, returned to production, it would be possible to significantly reduce oil production.
Oil sludge consists of oil products, mechanical impurities (clay, sand) and water. Petroleum products, depending on their origin, can be mixtures with a high content of paraffins, asphaltenes, and even acid sludge - a product that is formed when refining petroleum products with concentrated sulfuric acid. It is a black liquid with an unpleasant odor and is highly toxic. And if for ordinary oil sludge there are various processing methods (including combustion, filtration, chemical methods), then few people know how to convert acid sludge into safe substances.
New Green Technology (a resident of Skolkovo) has found a safe way to utilize almost all oil sludge, including acid sludge and oil-contaminated soils, based on the effects of steam, ultrasound and cavitation effects at various stages of cleaning. The cleaning complex developed by the company uses a combination of various methods of oil sludge treatment, including centrifugal separation (at the stages of final cleaning). To improve the quality of the final product, demulsifiers and flocculants can be used. Heating and homogenization of raw materials, destruction of heavy hydrocarbons in the cavitation field, extraction of mechanical impurities and their final purification, disinfection of water - all this happens using ultrasound. But the main and unique know-how of the company is the cold cracking of hydrocarbons in an acoustic field. As a result, the proportion of more valuable light fractions in the extracted hydrocarbon product increases, the destruction of the oil-water emulsion, the separation of mechanical impurities from oil, and oil products in the sludge are freed from sulfur, salts and other components. In the acoustic field, all these processes are much more efficient.
“Our main technology in working with oil sludge is the use of steam and ultrasound. This approach allows not to have a negative impact on the environment,” - emphasizes Dmitry Mishchenkov, General Director of New Green Technology.
The output is purified hydrocarbon concentrate with a water content of no more than 1% and mechanical impurities no more than 0.1%, technical water and sand of the 5th hazard class, which can be used, for example, for filling roads. It is not surprising that New Green Technology was included in the list of 23 companies - finalists of the GreenTech Startup Booster environmental competition, which at the end of 2020 was held by the Skolkovo Foundation with the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, and more than 800 took part in it. companies.
“We recycle everything, the only question is what configuration of equipment and what mode of operation will be required for this,” says Dmitry Mishchenkov. “Oil sludge is very different and needs an individual approach. We recommend working in a hangar, where you can assemble equipment in different configurations from 12 mobile modules, as a designer, so that the technological process is formed for a specific client. The equipment - modules, centrifuges, separators, etc. - is produced in Russia and is inexpensive, unlike imported samples.”
The equipment productivity is high: 5 cubic meters of soil per hour, 10 cubic meters liquids. The cost of disposing one ton of oil sludge is from 500 to 1000 rubles. Service companies that are attracted by oil companies to dispose of waste take 5 thousand rubles. for soil processing, 3 thousand - liquid residues.
“For some reason, we have more contacts not with Russian, but with foreign partners,” complains the general director. “We have supplied a plant for processing oil contaminated soils to the Republic of Belarus, and the current project is the Nobel deposit in Turkmenistan. This is the first field in the Russian Empire, it has already been mothballed; they want to utilize liquid oil sludge and clean the soil. We are negotiating with some Russian oil companies, there is interest. Many people are interested in our technology, but so far there are few contracts.”