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Revista Digital Novasinergia

versão On-line ISSN 2631-2654


CENTENO-BORDONES, Guillermo; LABRADOR, Henry  e  LARA MORENO, Guillermo. Sour waters in heavy crude oil processing: physicochemical characterization and prognosis of its environmental impact. Novasinergia [online]. 2021, vol.4, n.1, pp.115-135.  Epub 01-Jun-2021. ISSN 2631-2654.

Abstract: The objective of this study was to make a prognosis of the environmental impact of sour water resulting from the upgrading of heavy and extra-heavy crude oil. We determined the total concentration of petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and the chemical oxygen demand (COD) to achieve this objective. Likewise, the organic compounds in the sour water were determined by GC-MS (GC-Mass Coupled Mass Chromatography). The heavy metal content was also determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP). The concentration of dissolved H2S was determined by the potentiometric Na2S standardization technique. These concentrations are higher than the maximum levels allowed by Venezuelan regulations for discharge in water plants and water bodies and by occupational health and safety regulations. Thus, these wastes are toxic and have a high environmental impact. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) was carried out using a cause-effect matrix (Leopold Matrix). The result was a TPH concentration of 99 ppm, COD of 18100 ppm, and 24000 ppm of H2S. The environmental factors most affected were the soil, surface water, and groundwater. At the same time, the most aggressive activities were the crude oil upgrading process, sulfur reactivity, pH corrosivity, and vulnerability in the storage of these waters in the open air due to their high content of potentially toxic organic and inorganic matter.

Palavras-chave : Environmental aggressors; environmental risk; extra heavy crude oil; oil effluents; oil industry; vulnerable environmental factors.

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