Ultraviolet Radiation to control Bacteria in oil well injection water

Keywords: UV-c radiation, water disinfection, biocides, sulfate reducing bacteria


Biocorrosion is a phenomenon that strongly affects the integrity of the materials used in the oil and gas industry. Different types of biocides are currently used to control bacteria in industrial water; however, they have disadvantages such as microbial resistance to these chemical compounds and possible impact on biodiversity due to eventual contamination of natural water. There are several alternatives for the elimination or control of bacteria, among which one is the use of type C ultraviolet (UV-C) radiation. Nevertheless, the use of these micro-organism removal systems could be affected by water quality and its efficiency can be improved by using LED diodes of lower energy consumption and greater versatility in exposure to high temperatures. This work was aimed to evaluate the use of such radiation as a strategy for the control and/or elimination of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB), and acid producing bacteria (APB) present in both corrosion and souring processes.  For this purpose, injection water from oil and gas industry and a dynamic system which flow variation enabled the evaluation of different water exposure times to UV-C light (1-20 minutes) were used. Efficiencies ranging between 99-100% were achieved in the elimination of SRB and APB from produced water measured by two different techniques, selective culture media for these microbial populations, and qPCR detecting a specific gene from the SRB population.


Elsayed, N. A., Barrufet, M. A., Eljack, F. T., & ElHalwagi, M. M. (2015). Optimal design of thermal membrane distillation systems for the treatment of shale gas flowback water. International Journal of Membrane Science and Technology, 2, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.15379/2410-1869.2015.02.02.01.

Veil, J. A., Puder, M. G., Elcock, D., & Redweik Jr, R. J. (2004). A white paper describing produced water from production of crude oil, natural gas, and coal bed methane (No. ANL/EA/RP-112631). Argonne National Lab., IL (US). https://doi.org/10.2172/821666

Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), (2017). Texas water use estimates: 2015 summary (updated October 2, 2017).Https://www.twdb.texas.gov/waterplanning/waterusesurvey/estimates/data/2015TexasWaterUseEstimatesSummary.pdf (Online).

Bhojwani, S., Topolski, K., Mukherjee, R., Sengupta, D., & El-Halwagi, M. M. (2019). Technology review and data analysis for cost assessment of water treatment systems. Science of the Total Environment, 651, 2749-2761.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.09.363.

Kahrilas, G. A., Blotevogel, J., Stewart, P. S., & Borch, T. (2015). Biocides in hydraulic fracturing fluids: a critical review of their usage, mobility, degradation, and toxicity. Environmental science & technology, 49(1), 16-32.https://doi.org/10.1021/es503724k

Meulemans, C. C. E. (1986). The basic principles of UV-sterilization of water. In Ozone+ Ultraviolet Water Treatment, Aquatec Amsterdam, Paris: International Ozone Association, B.1.1-B.1.13.

Weigel, K. M., Nguyen, F. K., Kearney, M. R., Meschke, J. S., & Cangelosi, G. A. (2017). Molecular viability testing of UV-inactivated bacteria. Applied and environmental microbiology, 83(10). https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00331-17

McCarthy, D. (1993). The Latest In UV Disinfection Technology. Water Conditioning & Purification.

Lindenauer, K. G., & Darby, J. L. (1994). Ultraviolet disinfection of wastewater: effect of dose on subsequent photoreactivation. Water research, 28(4), 805-817. https://doi.org/10.1016/0043-1354(94)90087-6.

Rastogi, R. P., Kumar, A., Tyagi, M. B., & Sinha, R. P. (2010). Molecular mechanisms of ultraviolet radiation induced DNA damage and repair. Journal of nucleic acids, 2010. https://doi.org/10.4061/2010/592980.

Darby, J. L., Snider, K. E., & Tchobanoglous, G. (1993). Ultraviolet disinfection for wastewater reclamation and reuse subject to restrictive standards. Water environment research, 65(2), 169-180. https://doi.org/10.2175/WER.65.2.10.

Wang, L., Gong, W., Ma, Y., Hu, B., Wang, W., & Zhang, M. (2013). Analysis of ultraviolet radiation in Central China from observation and estimation. Energy, 59, 764-774. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2013.07.017

Turtoi, Maria. (2013). Ultraviolet light potential for wastewater disinfection. Annals Food Science and Technology, 14(1). 153-164.

Atashgahi, S., Sánchez-Andrea, I., Heipieper, H. J., van der Meer, J. R., Stams, A. J., & Smidt, H. (2018). Prospects for harnessing biocide resistance for bioremediation and detoxification. Science, 360(6390), 743-746. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aar3778.

Song, K., Taghipour, F., & Mohseni, M. (2019). Microorganisms inactivation by wavelength combinations of ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs). Science of The Total Environment, 665, 1103-1110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.041

How to Cite
Niño Gomez, J. A., Jaimes Prada, R., Echeverria Restrepo, V. J., Acero Reyes, J. R., Gonzalez Rodriguez, A. M., Cardeñosa Mendoza, M., & Torres Saez, R. G. (2021). Ultraviolet Radiation to control Bacteria in oil well injection water. CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología Y Futuro, 11(1), 5-9. https://doi.org/10.29047/01225383.191


Download data is not yet available.
Scientific and Technological Research Articles

Funding data

Crossref Cited-by logo