Directa Plus logoDirecta Plus has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Sartec to jointly develop a commercial-scale industrial system (Pilot Plant), based on the Company’s Grafysorber product, for treating oil-contaminated produced water in the oil & gas industry. Sartec is a provider of industrial engineering to the oil, energy and environment sectors and part of the Saras Group, the Italy-listed company with a current market capitalization of approximately €1.6 billion.

The Agreement follows initial joint research over the last eight months (proof-of-concept phase) during which extensive tests on the Company’s Grafysorber product, as well as the effectiveness of the continuous process equipment, were successfully carried out. In Q2-2018, Sartec will commence building an industrial Pilot Plant, with Directa Plus providing support and expertise regarding Grafysorber.

The Agreement aims to provide the oil & gas industry with a continuous process that:

  • has the ability to effectively treat contaminated water from oil & gas operations;
  • can recover the oil adsorbed by separating it from the contaminated water;
  • can recycle the Grafysorber used in the process so it can be used again;
  • is capable of treating high volumes of contaminated water;
  • provides the industrial reliability required by the oil & gas sector

The Pilot Plant will be capable of treating up to 500 cubic meters per day of produced water and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. In conjunction with this, both parties will work together to generate industrial-scale demand by leveraging the global footprint of the Sartec sales force and commercial opportunities activated by Directa Plus.

Target customers include oil companies with significant oil production capabilities and oil refineries as well as organisations involved in emergency environmental remediation due to an oil spill. In addition, as both parties test the commercial viability of the process through the Pilot Plant, the Agreement contains provisions for exploring options for establishing an operational structure to commercialize the process going forward.

Grafysorber is a 2D material in a 3D structure, made by graphene sheets, which acts as a sponge to capture the hydrocarbons in contaminated water. Its unique oil adsorption capacity has reportedly been substantiated through extensive testing and commercial trials over the last three years in Italy, Romania and Nigeria. The data collected have demonstrated Grafysorber to be at least five times more effective than the technologies presently used for water decontamination, adsorbing more than 100 times its own weight of oily pollutant. The absorbed oil can be easily recovered to be recycled or disposed of separately.