DOE Awards $25 Million For Gas Projects

07 January 2020

The U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) has selected 16 projects to receive nearly $25 million in federal funding for cost-shared projects to advance natural gas infrastructure technology development. DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy will provide federal funding for these projects.

The projects aim to develop tools, methods and technologies to cost-effectively enhance the safety and efficiency of the nation’s natural gas production, gathering, storage and transmission infrastructure.

“This administration is committed to providing cost-effective, responsible technologies to advance natural gas operations across the United States,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “With the U.S. positioned as the world’s top producer of natural gas, DOE is proud to be a global leader in gas technology R&D. These projects will further our impressive growth in this field, growing our economy and jobs, while finding new solutions to continue lowering our energy-related emissions.”

“All of these developing tools and technologies have transformative potential,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg. “From mitigating emissions to converting flare gas into value-added products, they are vital to ensuring that America can continue to safely and efficiently use our vast fossil energy resources.”

Project selections fall under three areas of interest (AOIs):

-AOI 1: Advanced Technologies to Mitigate Emissions from and Increase the Efficiency of Natural Gas Transportation Infrastructure.

-AOI 2: Process-Intensified Technologies for the Upcycling of Flare Gas into Transportable, Value-Added Products.

-AOI 3: Advanced Methane Detection and Measurement Technology Validation.

DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage all of the selected projects.

AOI projects include:

Low-Cost Retrofit Kit for Integral Reciprocating Compressors to Reduce Emissions and Enhance Efficiency: The University of Oklahoma at Norman plans to develop, build and validate a low-cost, field-installable, remotely controlled natural gas compressor retrofit kit. The project team will specifically design the kit for existing reciprocating compressors used in production, gathering, transmission and processing along the natural gas value chain. This new retrofit technology —consisting of an air management system, integrated sensors and a cloud-connected control system —is intended to reduce emissions such as methane and volatile organic compounds, improve operating efficiency and reduce operating costs.

DOE Funding: $1,488,391; Non-DOE Funding: $394,751; Total Value: $1,883,142.

Methane Mitigation Using Linear Motor Leak Recovery Compressor:  The Institute of Gas Technology plans to design, build, and test a novel, low-cost natural gas leak recovery compressor to capture a wide variety of leaks across the natural gas value chain, including those in reciprocating compressor and pneumatic controllers. The ventilation system at legacy and newly installed transmission, storage, gathering and processing facilities will capture natural gas emissions and compress them into the pipeline system. The goal is to develop acompressor capable of compressing the natural gas emissions to 1000 lb. per square in.

DOE Funding: $1,499,920; Non-DOE Funding: $375,000; Total Value: $1,874,920.

Predictive Self-Healing Seals for Gas Transmission: The University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, plans to combine active self-healing/self-repair functionality combined with digital lea kdetection/notification for pneumatic controllers deployed throughout the natural gas transmission system. Pneumatic controllers are one of the major sources of natural gas emissions. The advanced self-healing pneumatic controller bladder system will be demonstrated in a laboratory setting and subsequently scaled up to simulate field operational conditions. Successful demonstration of this integrated self-healing valve system will advance the goal of reducing natural gas emissions across thousands of installed pneumatic controllers.

DOE Funding: $954,856; Non-DOE Funding: $238,714; Total Value: $1,193,570.

Methane Mitigator: Development of a Scalable Vent Mitigation Strategy to Simultaneously Reduce Methane Emissions and Fuel Consumption from the Compression Industry: West Virginia University Research Corp., Morgantown, WVa., will develop a Methane Mitigator (M2) system designed to eliminate fugitive natural gas emissions from well site operations and pipeline compressor stations. Specifically, the M2 vapor recovery system will gather natural gas emissions from compressor vents, pneumatic controller vents and tank vents, and integrate the emissions into the fuel system feeding the compressor engines. The M2 system will be validated and optimized on a commercial-scale engine in a laboratory followed by a field trial at a natural gas well or compression station. The technology is expected to reduce natural gas emissions and improve operational efficiencies.

DOE Funding: $1,498,405; Non-DOE Funding: $433,093; Total Value: $1,931,498.

AOI 2 projects include:

Core-Shell Oxidative Aromatization Catalysts for Single Step Liquefaction of Distributed Shale Gas: North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C., will develop a process-intensified catalyst for thermochemical, oxidative coupling of methane to produce one or more of the aromatic hydrocarbons, BTX. In this project, North Carolina State University will synthesize and test a multifunctional core-shell catalyst. The catalyst combines oxidative coupling with recent breakthroughs in dehydroaromatization and redox-based selective hydrogen combustion catalysis. The project, operated in a modular system under cyclical operations, will design and demonstrate a multifunctional catalyst for single-step conversion of the light components of natural gas. The novel catalyst and process can improve the value and transportability natural gas.

DOE Funding: $999,971; Non-DOE Funding: $256,220; Total Value: $1,256,191.

To view the full list of selected projects and their descriptions, click here.

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