Galp and universities develop technology to separate CO2 from natural gas

in News · 23-12-2019 15:53:00 · 0 Comments

Galp, in collaboration with two Brazilian universities, is developing a technology that, based on a concept created at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, aims to "separate carbon dioxide from natural gas." revealed the responsible.

In an interview with Lusa agency, Carlos Martins de Andrade, Galp's Director of Research and Technology, explained that the project aims to "find a solution to the existing problems in the operation and production of oil", specifically with regard to the separation of CO2 from natural gas.

“We have two problems. One is that the production of natural gas with high CO2 content precludes its use because natural gas that is normally used for energy consumption has a low carbon dioxide content of less than 5 percent (…). Another is that a CO2 content of over 50 percent is huge and the technology that currently exists is not prepared to separate these amounts," said the project director.

In this sense, the Portuguese oil company has launched a "challenge" to universities and since the end of 2014 it is, together with the University of São Paulo and Campinas, Brazil, redesigning and readjusting a "concept" developed by FEUP researchers: the NetMix reactor, a system that through hydrates will allow the separation of CO2 from natural gas, and consequently its transportation and storage.

"This technology allows the capture and sequestration of CO2, that is, it cleans the gas and also treats CO2 without releasing it into the atmosphere... There is a lot of work to do here, but what we can already anticipate is a huge impact. CO2 capture and the possibility of reinjecting it or transporting it to other applications or storage and storage sites," said Carlos Martins de Andrade.

According to the official, the approximately 30 researchers and technicians involved in the project, called Hidragas, have already tested the "concept" twice and at this moment the objective is to "scale [technology] to the industrial dimension".

"For now, we have tested the concept and proved it works well. The project will continue with the prospect of increasing the size of the equipment used to move from the laboratory scale to an industrial scale that will dictate the future," he said.

Professor José Carlos Lopes of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP), responsible for the creation of NetMix, told Lusa that this solution could be "retrofitted and extended" to other industries.

"We have a competitive solution for CO2 capture and for large production facilities such as thermoelectric plants, cement plants and other industrial units that have problems with CO2 and are likely to have to change their business because of CO2," he concluded.


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