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Evonik Turning Flare Gas into a Valuable Energy Source with Membranes

By offering its innovative PuraMem® VOC membrane separation technology for flare gas recovery, Evonik enables the energy industry to cut CO2 emissions and supports the World Bank’s “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative.

Turning flare gas from emissions into a valuable energy source
Oil production generates significant amounts of associated gas that is, wherever possible, used as an energy source because oil companies and governments have made substantial investments to capture it. Nevertheless, a considerable amount of the gas is flared because of economical or technical challenges. Associated gas is often very heavy, hydrocarbon rich (i.e. high C3+ content) and cannot be used at the well head. According to the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership, thousands of gas flares at oil production sites around the globe burn approximately 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, causing more than 300 million tons of CO2 to be emitted to the atmosphere.

Evonik’s PuraMem® VOC membrane separation technology offers a safe and efficient way to process such heavy gas with the lowest operating cost of any available technology. The membrane separates heavy hydrocarbons as natural gas liquids (NGL), water and hydrogen sulfide and generates a clean gas stream that can be used to generate power without flaring. The recovered NGL can be converted to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

“Our innovative membrane technology enables today’s energy industry to increase efficiency and reduce emissions at many single processing points. The sum of the applications results in attractive sustainability benefits for the industry,” says Dr. Iordanis Savvopoulos, Head of the Fibres, Foams and Membranes Product Line at Evonik.

PuraMem® VOC stands for a robust, spiral-wound membrane which is based on Evonik’s high-performance polymer. It features a stable performance over long time periods under challenging operating conditions. PuraMem® VOC has been specially designed with the flexibility to be seamlessly retrofitted in the existing infrastructure. The standard dimension of an 8” diameter and the flexible adapter system makes it possible for PuraMem VOC to easily plug-in as a drop-in replacement to the existing system installations.

Technology to support the World Bank’s “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative
The World Bank’s “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative commits governments and oil companies to end routine flaring by 2030. The main objective is to support cooperation between all relevant stakeholders so that solutions to gas flaring can be successfully implemented through appropriate regulation, application of technologies, and financial arrangements.

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