Water management

Nanomembrane Approach Reuses Waste, Cleans Produced Water

The authors of this paper discuss the use of dissolved polystyrene waste for the preparation of nanomembranes for separation of hydrocarbon pollutants from wastewater streams.

Schematic representation of water/oil separation by nanomembrane.
Fig. 1—Schematic representation of water/oil separation by nanomembrane.
Source: SPE 213946.

In the oil and gas sector, produced water is the most significant waste stream. Among the different materials used for water filtration, including ceramics, polymers, and carbon nanomaterials, polymeric nanofibers can be considered a unique solution that can be used as a membrane or an adsorbent. In the complete paper, the authors write that polymeric nanofibers can be prepared from polystyrene waste.


The management of polystyrene trash and recycling creates a significant environmental problem. While most of this substance ends up in landfills, only a small portion of polystyrene is recycled or burned.

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