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[Gastech 2014] emerging & ground-breaking Gas technologies

Seoul, 26 March 2014 – By 2050, urbanization and population growth will pose challenges that technological innovation can help solve, such as how energy suppliers can meet growing demand while cutting CO2 emissions, said Marjan Van Loon, Vice President for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Gas Processing at Shell, in discussing emerging and ground-breaking gas technologies.

“Natural gas is an intelligent long-term bet to fuel growth in an environmentally sustainable way,” she said. “The focus should be on practical, cost-effective solutions that produce results.”

Technological innovation helps bring LNG to the market, counter cost pressures, and reduce environmental constraints, she said.

Jun-ichiro Tanaka, Engineering Consultant for Chiyoda Corporation, presented a paper on sulfinol hybrid solvents, which have been used to treat natural gas in LNG production. The new Sulfinol-X solvent, he said, removes H2S, CO2, COS, mercaptans, and other organic sulfides, allowing for an all-in-one removal process requiring only one absorber.

Tanaka compared the advantages of Sulfinol-X to Sulfinol-D. Sulfinol-X has a CO2, COS and mercaptan removal rate higher than Sulfinol-D due to its enhanced reaction kinetics. It also offers a high loading capacity, resulting in a lower solvent circulation rate, along with a lower hydrocarbon co-absorption, he said.

In short, Sulfinol-X can deliver simple solutions for stringent LNG product specifications, he said.

Nan Li, Business Development Manager for Primus Green Energy, described a new gas-to-liquids technology that converts syngas to high-quality gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel through a catalytic thermochemical process. The process minimizes complexity, improves product quality, and increases yield, she said.

“It’s a very simple process with proven chemistry,” she said, noting it’s an improvement over the ExxonMobile MTG process that began 20 years ago. “We will be able to produce diesel, jet fuel, and aromatic chemicals in the same hardware.”

Kevin L. Currence, Technology Manager for Gas Processing at Black & Veatch, introduced a patent-pending PRICO-C2 process to achieve high NGL recovery in a simple, efficient, and robust process, using a single-mixed refrigerant.

A straight refrigeration process doesn’t require operating much equipment, has a low pressure drop that means less compression, and requires a low capital investment compared to other technologies. But the process also brings about low ethane recovery and sensitivity to feed gas conditions, he said.

Mixed refrigerant technology, on the other hand, has not been widely used for gas processing applications, he said. But the approach can deliver temperatures much lower than conventional or ethane-propane cascade refrigeration cycles, making it possible to operate over a wide range of feed gas pressures. []

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