Hybrid Membrane-Absorption Processes

November 22, 2016

Last week LNG Futures Chief Investigator and University of Queensland Researcher Dr. Tom Rufford attended the International Petroleum Technology Conference in Bangkok (IPTC2016).

LNG Futures Chief Investigator Dr. Tom Rufford of University of Queensland.

LNG Futures Chief Investigator Dr. Tom Rufford of University of Queensland.

As part of the formal program Tom presented a talk titled “A Technical Evaluation of Hybrid Membrane-Absorption Processes for Acid Gas Removal”. The presentation was co-authored  by Michael Schlierf a visiting Masters student from Technischen Universität Müchen, Germany.

Tom presented a study of using cellulose acetate membranes to remove carbon dioxide from natural gas in addition to the traditional method of amine absorption used in LNG production. The study showed showed that for gas streams with high carbon dioxide content the use of membranes can significantly reduce the required size (operating and capital costs) of amine systems for removal of carbon dioxide in an LNG plant.  These hybrid systems could have potential application in Floating LNG (FLNG) and micro-LNG plants which typically require significant reductions in weight, cost, and energy demand over traditional plant.

Tom’s attendance at IPTC2016 was partly sponsored by a Society for Petroleum Engineers Faculty Enhancement Travel Award.

Tom was formerly a research fellow in the area of Gas Separations under Training Centre Director Professor Eric May at UWA. Now as a Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Queensland Tom continues to collaborate with Eric’s group at UWA.  LNG Futures PhD student Abdul Quader is also at the University of Queensland and is co-supervised by Tom.

The International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) is an international oil and gas conference and exhibition organised to further the advancement of scientific and technological knowledge related to the exploration, development, production, transportation and processing of oil and natural gas.  The event is held annually and rotates between Asia Pacific and the Middle East. The scope of the conference programme and associated activities addresses the technology and relevant industry issues that challenge oil and gas professionals and management around the world.  Over 4000 energy professionals attended the conference with representation from 500+ organisations and more than 50 countries.

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