UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, has announced a new, advanced membrane element designed to increase natural gas processing capacity, compared with existing technology, allowing producers to capture higher revenue and reduce costs
Honeywell’s UOP Separex Flux+ is a drop-in replacement for the membrane elements in existing Separex membrane systems. Separex Flux+ increases the removal of contaminants, such as acid gas and water, which must be removed before natural gas can be transported by pipeline for commercial use.
“UOP is focused on developing technologies that help natural gas producers maximize their output at minimal cost,” said Rebecca Liebert, vice president and general manager of Honeywell’s UOP Gas Processing and Hydrogen business unit.
“UOP’s new Separex Flux+ membrane element increases gas processing capacity over existing technology, translating to increased revenue and reduced operating costs for natural gas producers.”
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, lowering overall operating costs for gas producers.
Designed to 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 particularly 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 such as water, mercury, sulphur 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 through 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 line. Honeywell’s UOP also has marketing alliances with Twister BV, and Ortloff Engineers, Ltd. for natural gas separation technology for recovering NGLs.
Honeywell’s UOP Gas Processing and Hydrogen business has also expanded its global footprint, opening a gas processing design centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2008. In 2011, it opened a manufacturing and operations centre to produce natural gas membrane elements in Penang, Malaysia, to better serve growing natural gas markets in Southeast Asia and around the world.