Effect of calcium (II) and iron (II) on the precipitation of calcium carbonate and iron carbonate solid solutions and on scale inhibitors retention
Alsaiari, Hamad Amer
Tomson, Mason B.
Doctor of Philosophy
Mineral scale formation is important to many areas of science and engineering, from drinking water treatment to oceanography to oil and gas production. In some cases mineral deposition is beneficial, as in water treatment for heavy metal or arsenic removal, and sometimes it is deleterious, as occurs in oil and gas production due to co-produced water. In either case, understanding the mechanisms of precipitation and inhibition is critical. Work in this thesis has focused on the impact of metal ions on mineral scale formation, and control. The results reveal that the addition of metal ions in the pill solution significantly improved the retention of scale inhibitors. Both BHPMP and DTPMP returns were significantly extended by the addition of Ca 2+ and Fe 2+ Also trace levels of Zn 2+ significantly enhanced the performance and retention of both BHPMP and DTPMP. The enhanced scale inhibition may be caused by a complex of metal ions with amine group of polyamino- polyphosphonates. It is known that the effectiveness of inhibitors varies upon the type of scale formed where it has been mentioned in the literature that common calcium carbonate inhibitors are not effective for preventing iron carbonate. Therefore, this work was also intended to investigate the impact of calcium and iron ions in the co-precipitation of iron-calcium carbonate solid solutions (Fe x Ca 1-x CO 3 ). Three different experimental methods were applied to investigate and predict the precipitation of Fe x Ca 1-x CO 3 : Free drift, continuous feeding, and constant composition experiments. The results from all methods showed that calcium carbonate was kinetically favored to precipitate rather than iron carbonate when the solution is supersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate and iron carbonate. In the constant composition experiments a series of solid solutions of iron-calcium carbonate ranging from calcium-rich to iron-rich was precipitated. Based upon the experimental results and the theoretical derivation, a new model in a form of logistic function was developed to predict the stoichiometry of Fe x Ca 1-x CO 3 as a function of the aqueous solution composition. The model showed an excellent representation for the experimental results with R 2 greater than 0.97 and 0.88 for Fe x Ca 1-x CO 3 and Ba x Ca 1-x CO 3 , respectively. The experimental equipment and procedures described in this work provide an effective means of producing and handling oxygen sensitive solid solutions. The precipitation kinetics of a number of solid solutions in aquatic systems could be studied by adapting the experimental design developed herein.