NMSU Produced Water Research Publications


Jiang, W., Lin, L., Xu, X., Wang, H., Xu, P. (2022) Analysis of regulatory framework for produced water management and reuse in major oil and gas producing regions in the United States. Water 14 (14), 2162. https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/14/14/2162

“This study reviews the current regulatory framework for produced water production, management, and reuse in the major oil and gas production areas in the U.S., including Appalachian Basin, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming.”

Sabie, R.P., Pillsbury, L., and Xu, P. (2022). Spatiotemporal Analysis of Produced Water Demand for Fit-For-Purpose Reuse—A Permian Basin, New Mexico Case Study. Water 14 (11), 1735. https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/14/11/1735

“In this study, a generalized framework was developed for estimating produced water (PW) supply and potential demand for treated PW reuse in agriculture, dust suppression, power generation, and river flow augmentation using Eddy and Lea counties, New Mexico as a case study”

Tidwell, V., Gunda, T., Caballero, M., Xu, P., Xu, X., Bernknopf, R., Broadbent, C., Malczynski, L.A., Jacobson, J. (2022) Produced Water-Economic, Socio, Environmental Simulation Model (PW-ESEim) Model: Proof-of-Concept for Southeastern New Mexico. SAND2022-6636R. Published by Sandia National Lab.(SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1868149

“A proof-of-concept tool, the Produced Water-Economic, Socio, Environmental Simulation model (PW-ESESim), was developed to support ease of analysis. The tool was designed to facilitate head-to-head comparison of alternative produced water sources, treatment, and reuse water management strategies. A graphical user interface (GUI) guides the user through the selection and design of alternative produced water treatment and reuse strategies and the associated health and safety risk and economic benefits.”

Jiang, W., Xu, X., Hall, R., Zhang, Y., Carroll, K.C., Ramos, F., Engle, M.A., Lin, L., Wang, H., Sayer, M., Xu, P. (2022). Characterization of Produced Water and Surrounding Surface Water in the Permian Basin, the United States. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 430, 128409. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.128409

“In this research, over 300 analytes for organics, inorganics, and radionuclides were quantitatively analyzed in produced water (PW) samples from the Permian Basin and in surface water samples from the Pecos River in New Mexico. This study provides baseline analytical information to advance PW research for potential reuse and fills the knowledge gap regarding PW quality to support science-based decision making.

Jiang, W., Xu, X., Hall, R., Zhang, Y., Carroll, K.C., Ramos, F., Engle, M.A., Lin, L., Wang, H., Sayer, M., Xu, P. (2022). Datasets associated with the characterization of produced water and Pecos River water in the Permian Basin, the United States. Data in Brief, 43, 108443. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352340922006400

“This paper presents data related to the analysis of produced water and river water samples in the Permian Basin with a specific focus on wet chemistry, mineral salts, metals, oil and grease, volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, radionuclides, ammonia, hydraulic fracturing additives, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.”

Hu, L., Jiang, W., Xu, X., Wang, H., Carroll, K.C., Xu, P., Zhang, Y. (2022). Toxicological characterization of produced water from the Permian Basin. Science of The Total Environment. 815(1), 152943. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.152943

“In this study, an in vitro toxicity assessment was conducted using aquatic microorganisms to explore toxicological characteristics of produced water (PW) from the Permian Basin, New Mexico. It was found that high salinity, organic contaminants, metals, and ammonia present in PW are major toxicity drivers and need to be removed for fit-for-purpose beneficial uses of treated PW ”

Thakur, P., Ward, A.L., Schaub, T.M. (2022). Occurrence and behavior of uranium and thorium series radionuclides in the Permian shale hydraulic fracturing wastes. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 29 (28), 43058-43071. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-021-18022-z

“This study explored the risk of releasing radioactive materials during the oil and gas recovery process in the Permian Basin, New Mexico. The results confirmed the presence of radioactive materials (224Ra, 226Ra, 228Ra) in addition to dissolved salts, divalent cations, and high total dissolved solids in the hydraulic fracturing wastes.”

Chen, L., Wang, H., Xu, P. (2022). Photocatalytic membrane reactors for produced water treatment and reuse: fundamentals, affecting factors, rational design, and evaluation metrics. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 127493.


“In this study, the potential of photocatalytic membrane reactors (PMR) to treat produced water (PW) was evaluated. The mechanisms of photocatalysis and membrane processes in a PMR, factors affecting PMR performance, rational design, and evaluation metrics for PW treatment were critically reviewed.”

 Jiang, W., Pokharel, B., Lin, L., Cao, H., Carroll, K.C., Zhang, Y., Galdeano, C., Musale, D.A., Ghurye, G.L., Xu, P. (2021). Analysis and Prediction of Produced Water Quantity and Quality in the Permian Basin using Machine Learning Techniques. Science of the Total Environment. 141693.


“In this research, historical produced water (PW) quantity and quality data in the New Mexico portion (NM) of the Permian Basin were comprehensively analyzed, and then, various machine learning algorithms were applied to predict PW quantity for different types of oil and gas wells.”

Jiang, W., Lin, L., Xu. X., Cheng, X., Zhang, Y., Hall, R., Xu, P. (2021). A Critical Review of Analytical Methods for Comprehensive Characterization of Produced Water. Water, 2021, 13(2), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020183

“This paper broadly discusses current analytical techniques for produced water characterization, including both standard and research methods. Multi-tiered analytical procedures are proposed including field sampling; sample preservation; pretreatment techniques; basic water quality measurements; organic, inorganic, and radioactive materials analysis; and biological characterization.”

Chen, L., Xu, P., Kota, K., Kuravi, S., Wang, H. (2021). Solar distillation of highly saline produced water using low-cost and high-performance carbon black and airlaid paper-based evaporator (CAPER). Chemosphere, 269, 129372.


“This research introduces a solar-driven carbon black and airlaid paper-based evaporator (CAPER) for desalination of produced water in the Permian Basin, New Mexico. CAPER is low cost, robust, and has the capability of achieving higher removals of salts, heavy metals, Ca, Na, Mg, Mn, Ni, Se, Sr, and V.”

Hu, L., Wang, H., Xu, P. and Zhang, Y. (2021) Biomineralization of hypersaline produced water using microbially induced calcite precipitation. Water Research, 190, 116753. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2020.116753

“This study demonstrates the ability of the microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP) technique that utilizes ureolytic bacteria, to remove Ca2+ and toxic contaminants from high salinity produce water for the first time.”

Chen, L., Xu, P., Wang, H. (2020) Interplay of the Factors Affecting Water Flux and Salt Rejection in Membrane Distillation: A State-of-the-Art Critical Review. Water 2020, 12(10), 2841; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102841

“This review paper deeply examines the effects of membrane characteristics, feed solution composition, and operating conditions on water flux, mass transport, heat transfer and salt rejection in membrane distillation process.”

Lu Lin, Wenbing Jiang, Lin Chen, Pei Xu and Huiyao Wang (2020). Treatment of Produced Water with Photocatalysis: Recent Advances, Affecting Factors and Future Research Prospects. Catalysts, 10(8), 924. https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10080924

“This review paper investigated the applicability of photocatalysis-based treatment for produced water (PW) treatment. Factors affecting decontamination, strategies to improve photocatalysis efficiency, recent developments, and future research prospects on photocatalysis-derived systems for PW treatment are discussed here in detail.”

Alfredo Zendejas Rodriguez, Huiyao Wang, Lei Hu, Yanyan Zhang, and Pei Xu. (2020). Treatment of Produced Water in the Permian Basin for Hydraulic Fracturing: Comparison of Different Coagulation Processes and Innovative Filter Media. Water, 12(3), 770. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030770

“In this research, chemical coagulation [using FeCl3 and Al2(SO4)3] was compared with electrocoagulation (using aluminum electrodes) for their suitability in removing suspended contaminants from produced water for reuse in hydraulic fracturing. The feasibility of several filter media was also studied for refining effluent of the coagulation”

Scanlon, B.R., Reedy, R.C., Xu, P., Engle, M., Nicot, J.P., Yang, Q., and Ikonnikova, S. (2020). Datasets associated with investigating the potential for beneficial reuse of produced water from oil and gas extraction outside of the energy sector. Data in Brief, 105406. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352340920303000

“This article presents data related to volumes of water co-produced with oil and gas production, county-level estimates of annual water use volumes by various sectors, including hydraulic fracturing water use, and the quality of produced water.”

Scanlon, B.R., Reedy, R.C., Xu, P., Engle, M., Nicot, J.P., Yang, Q., and Ikonnikova, S. (2020). Can we Beneficially Reuse Produced Water from Oil and Gas Extraction in the U.S.? Science of the Total Environment, 717, 137085. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969720305957

“This study investigated the quantity and the quality of produced water volumes in major U.S. shale oil and gas plays relative to treatment and potential reuse options in irrigation, municipal use, industrial use, surface water and groundwater recharge, and hydraulic fracturing.”

Hu, L., Yu, J., Luo, H., Wang, H., Xu, P., Zhang, Y. (2020). Simultaneous Recovery of Ammonium, Potassium and Magnesium from Produced Water by Struvite Precipitation. Chemical Engineering Journal, 382, 123001. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2019.123001

“This study demonstrated the feasibility of recovering struvite fertilizer from produced water after calcium pretreatment. Recovered struvite was in sufficient quality with no accumulation of heavy metals and organic contaminants.”

Chaudhary, B., Sabie, R., Engle, M., Xu, P., Willman, S., Carroll, K. (2019) Produced Water Quality Spatial Variability and Alternative-Source Water Analysis Applied to the Permian Basin, USA. Hydrogeology Journal, 27, 2889-2905. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10040-019-02054-4

“In this research, geochemical variability of produced water from Guadalupian (Middle Permian) to Ordovician formations was statistically and geo-statistically evaluated in the western half of the Permian Basin using the US Geological Survey’s Produced Waters Geochemical Database and the New Mexico Water and Infrastructure Data System.”

Geza, M., Ma, G., Kim, H., Cath, T.Y., Xu, P. (2018). iDST: An integrated decision support tool for treatment and beneficial use of non-traditional water supplies – Part I. Methodology. Journal of Water Process Engineering, 25, 236-246. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2214714418303350

“In this study, a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) - based integrated decision support tool was developed to select a combination of treatment technologies/trains for different types of alternative water sources (municipal wastewater, geothermal water) and beneficial reuse options (portable reuse, irrigation, surface discharge, and power plant cooling).”

Ma, G., Geza, M., Cath, T.Y., Drewes, J.E., Xu, P. (2018). iDST: An integrated decision support tool for treatment and beneficial use of non-traditional water supplies – Part II. Marcellus and Barnett shale case studies. Journal of Water Process Engineering, 25, 258-268. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2214714418303362

“This study presents an integrated decision support tool to assist in selecting treatment technologies and potential water reuse options for produced water considering the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and the Barnett Shale in Texas as case studies.”