Media Release Innovation Collaboration

Water purification technology using solar energy prepares for inaugural Australian installation

JWA Oilfield Supplies and collaborative partners are preparing to transport the Flamingo concentrated solar water treatment units to a customer site in South West Queensland and across the country.

Designed to improve the rates of water recovery and re-use in the water intensive resources sector, at a greater scale and lower costs, the low-carbon water purification system harnesses solar energy to extract moisture from the waste streams generated by oil and gas and mining activities. The Flamingo uses a multi-distillation system to deliver pure distilled water and dried slurry output.

The novel water treatment unit has been assembled and put through its paces in industrial Brisbane and is now ready to travel to an oil and gas production site in the Eromanga Basin in Queensland for onsite trial with Bridgeport Energy Limited, an innovative Cooper Basin oil producer purchasing the first unit.

JWA 2JWA Oilfields Environmental Project Lead Ronald Lee said the time is right to move ahead after rigorously testing the set up and pack down of the new equipment and investigating standardised transportation options.

“In upcoming trials, we are looking to understand our limits across the many and varied harsh climates of Australia. Our team has set up Flamingo in industrial Brisbane, now is the time to truly test the technology in the field with Bridgeport,” said Ronald Lee.

The Flamingo uses large curved mirrors that track the sun to focus the sun’s rays to separate pure distilled water from the waste stream. The purified water can be reused in operations for camp water supply, in farming or irrigation, or for the local communities as a potable water supply and for land rehabilitation work in water scarce environments.

The modular design of the Flamingo makes it ideal to be segmented to service smaller populations, or multiplied to service major customers.

JWA 3Bridgeport Energy Environment Manager, Ralph Gunness says their company has a direct need for the Flamingo’s distilled water for beneficial uses at its operations in some of the driest parts of Australia. Bridgeport have commissioned a research project with the University of Sydney (UTS) to check various levels of Flamingo water treatment compliance with Australian and New Zealand water quality guidelines (1999).

“The work we have undertaken with the Centre for Technology in Water and Wastewater at UTS establishes the exact elements required to meet ANZ (1999) water quality guidelines suitable for potable use for human consumption, for livestock consumption and for irrigation.

“The resulting paper has been validated by CSIRO and presented at the recent APPEA conference in Western Australia” said Ralph Gunness.

RPI Solutions Director Ben Hunter says water is a major driver for waste remediation across multiple industries, particularly resources.

“With Clean Tech now very much at the forefront of resource company minds we know the conditions are right to take the Flamingo to market… rehabilitation is no longer a question, we can now do it,” Ben Hunter said.

“What we are doing here is taking material out of the water rather than water out of the material.

“RPI Solutions’ collaboration with JWA, Low Impact Technologies and Bridgeport Energy will demonstrate the simple deployment and execution of the new distillation technology. We are focused on lowering the cost of wastewater treatment, reducing environmental impact, and developing circular economy opportunities in the treating of a much wider range of wastewater,” he said.

In a recent visit to the Brendale site (just outside of Brisbane), METS Ignited Cluster Development Manager Andrew Scott agreed with observations that the resources industry is very much looking beyond social licence and the Flamingo project is answering a call to arms from miners and major METS.

“This technology is solving waste and produced water issues and is a practical way for companies to offer shared value to the community,” said Andrew Scott.

The project has received interest beyond mining, with the output of the design attracting agricultural interest from farmers ready to utilise the results. JWA Oilfields and collaboration partners will install the equipment and begin technology testing at the Bridgeport Energy Kenmore Oilfield (Cooper Basin) site in Queensland during the next quarter.

Download the Flamingo information brochure here.

The Flamingo (Concentrated Solar Multi-Effect Distiller) is one of five recipients of the Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund receiving a share in $1 million to accelerate the commercialisation of technology into industry.

The Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund is delivered by METS Ignited with funding support from the Queensland Government as part of its Queensland Mining Equipment, Technology and Services 10 Year Roadmap and Action Plan.