Toxicity assessment of oil field produced water treated by evaporative processes to produce water to irrigation

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During the productive life of an oil well, a high quantity of produced water is extracted together with the oil, and it may achieve up to 99% in the end of the well's economical life. Desalination is one of mankind's earliest forms of saline water treatment, and nowadays, it is still a common process used throughout the world. A single-effect mechanical vapor compression (MVC) process was tested. This paper aims to assess the potential toxicity of produced water to be re-used in irrigation. Samples of both produced and distilled water were evaluated by 84 chemical parameters. The distilled produced water presented a reduction up to 97% for the majority of the analyzed parameters, including PAHs. Toxicity bioassays were performed with distilled produced water to evaluate the growth inhibition of Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata algae, the acute toxicity to Danio rerio fish, the germination inhibition of Lactuca sativa vegetable and the severity of toxicity, as well as behavior test with Lumbricid Earthworm Eisenia fetida. The ecotoxicological assays results showed no toxicity, indicating that the referred evaporative process can produce water to be reused in irrigation.

Keywords: bioassays, desalination, irrigation, produced water, toxicity

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