New Technology From Honeywell’s UOP Successfully Improves Natural Gas Processing Capacity On U.S. Gulf Coast
New UOP Separex(TM) Flux+ membrane elements will help gas processors capture higher revenue while reducing costs
DES PLAINES, Ill., July 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — UOP LLC, a Honeywell (NYSE: HON) company, announced today that Honeywell’s UOP Separex(TM) Flux(+) membrane elements have been selected by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners to increase natural gas processing capacity at the Yates Gas Plant in western Texas.
Honeywell’s UOP Separex Flux(+) membrane elements will be used to remove contaminants such as acid gas and water from natural gas. These contaminants must be removed before natural gas can be transported by pipeline for commercial use. Compared with existing technology, UOP’s Separex Flux(+) membrane elements are designed to help natural gas producers process more gas, resulting in higher revenue while reducing costs during processing.
U.S. natural gas resources are estimated to be enough to provide 100 years of domestic supply, with approximately 30 percent of those resources located along the Gulf Coast, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. U.S. natural gas production is expected to increase more than 40 percent over the next 30 years.
“The shift toward natural gas as one of the world’s top energy sources increases the need to continually improve gas processing technologies to enable processors to cost-effectively monetize natural gas resources,” said Rebecca Liebert, senior vice president and general manager of Honeywell’s UOP Gas Processing and Hydrogen business unit. “Technology such as UOP’s Separex Flux(+) membrane elements, which efficiently remove contaminants and recover valuable products, can help meet this need worldwide.”
Honeywell’s UOP Separex Flux(+) membrane elements were introduced this year as the next-generation membrane element for Separex membrane systems. In addition to increasing the amount of gas that can be processed in the system, the membrane element removes more carbon dioxide per unit membrane area than existing membrane products. This helps debottleneck downstream processing units, potentially lowering overall operating costs for gas producers.
Designed with a compact footprint, the units can be installed on-shore or off-shore, require little to no utilities, and provide for very short start-up times and high turndown capabilities.
Separex membranes eliminate the need for solvents, making the technology often desirable in remote locations where logistics make supply transportation to the site difficult. Because Separex membrane elements are inert solids, these membranes offer a spill-free, ecosystem-friendly solution. Decades of operation in natural gas service have demonstrated that Separex membranes are the most robust for natural gas service and can achieve the longest membrane life in the industry. To date, more than 130 Separex units have been installed worldwide. Honeywell’s UOP recently rebranded its existing Separex cellulose acetate (CA) membrane elements under the new name Separex Flux. This product offers the same specifications and performance as the company’s current CA elements.
Honeywell’s UOP Gas Processing and Hydrogen business offers technology, equipment and materials to treat and process natural gas, as well as to purify hydrogen used in refineries. Its gas technologies extract contaminants including water, mercury, sulfur and carbon dioxide from raw natural gas. Honeywell’s UOP also offers technologies to recover valuable natural gas liquids (NGLs). The business has supplied technology to more than 3,600 individual process units for gas processing in a broad range of applications throughout the world, including Floating, Processing, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels.
Honeywell’s UOP has increased its offerings in natural gas in recent years. In 2012, the company purchased a majority stake in Thomas Russell Co., which offers key technologies and modularized packaged plants, enabling shale and conventional natural gas producers to remove contaminants from natural gas and recover high-value NGLs used for petrochemicals and fuels. Thomas Russell products are now part of the UOP Russell product line. Honeywell’s UOP also has marketing alliances with Twister B.V., and Ortloff Engineers, Ltd. for natural gas separation technology for recovering NGLs.
Honeywell’s UOP Gas Processing and Hydrogen business also has expanded its global footprint, opening a gas processing design center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2008. In 2012, it opened a manufacturing and operations center to produce Separex membrane elements in Penang, Malaysia, to better serve growing natural gas markets in Southeast Asia and around the world.
Honeywell’s UOP has been doing business with Kinder Morgan since 1997.
UOP LLC, headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois, USA, is a leading international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, process plants, and consulting services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries. UOP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc. and is part of Honeywell’s Performance Materials and Technologies strategic business group. For more information, go to www.uop.com.
Honeywell (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywellnow.com.
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