Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Hallie Boyer Chelmo


Wastewater from the petroleum industry contains large amounts of inorganic salts, hydrocarbons, mercaptans, oil and grease, phenols, and other organic chemicals. All these compounds can be found in highly complex solutions in the petroleum industry’s discharged water, and there is no common treatment method, which precludes reuse paths in other sectors such as irrigation of farmland. In order to reuse produced water, the water must be treated and these harmful chemicals must be removed. To treat and potentially reuse oily waste outside the energy sector, researchers typically use membrane technology, photocatalytic degradation, oxidation processes, electrochemical catalysis, and other methods. The goal of this project is to introduce a novel method to measure chemical thermodynamic properties, such as water activities, of produced water. I demonstrate that the electrodynamic balance (EDB) technology is beneficial for exploring properties of produced water that can be applied to treatment and reuse in the future.