Phenol is an organic compound that may present in produced water of oil and gas industries. Some of phenol compounds are mostly used as raw material in disinfectant and adhesive industries. Phenol and its derivatives are hazardous materials with its toxicity level varies depending on the type of phenol. On the basis of its toxicity level, US-EPA and EEC classified some phenol compounds as "priority pollutant" due to at certain phenol concentration level they can endanger human and animal life.

The source of phenol in the produced water is from nature; they are carried over to the surface by formation water

The Indonesian government has issued various laws and regulations in limiting the discharge of phenol compound into water. PP No. 2011990 classified various limits of phenol concentration in water depending on water utilization, whereas KEPMEN No. 03/KLH/I/1991 classified the limit of phenol concentration in discharge water of various industries.

This paper describes efforts made by some oil and gas companies in Indonesia under PERTAMINA supervision in conducting studies for reducing the phenol concentration in produced water to meet the government phenol regulatory limit. The study is aimed to obtain the best phenol treatment method that is suitable to be applied for particular company operation and field conditions. The study consists of literature study, laboratory scale tests and pilot tests using some selected treatment methods that are currently available, complete with the technical and economical aspects of each treatment method as well as consideration of maintenance and operation aspects.


In many industrial countries Phenol compounds are used in many commercial products including Resins, Nylons, Plastics, Antioxidants, Oil additives, Drugs, Pesticides, Explosives, Dyes etc.

Phenol is a diverse group of organic chemical consisting of a basic aromatic Benzene ring and one or more hydroxyl group. The more complex Phenol compounds are obtained by replacing one or more hydrogen atom (H) attached to the Benzene ring with various atom(s) or molecule(s) such as:

Phenol C6H5-OH

Cresol CH3-C6H4-OH

Xylenol (CH3)2-C6H3-OH

Chlorophenol C6H(5-n)-(Cl)n-OH Tri: n = 3 ; Penta: n = 5

By nature, some of Phenol compounds can be classified as hazardous and toxic materials. Therefore, the presence of Phenol in waste water discharged from any industrial facilities have been regulated by the Government of Indonesia.

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