New technologies for enhanced recovery of natural gas (CH4)

  • Agnieszka Wieczorek Jetha
  • 11/08/2017
Call Information
Call Title
New technologies for the enhanced recovery of by-products
Propsosal Information
Project description:  Recovery of natural gas (CH4) which is continuously flared in oil and gas processing environments giving rise to severe environmental emissions The environment is increasingly being endangered by the introduction of greenhouse gases which are continuously produced from gas flaring due to intense processing in the oil and gas sector. Currently, total volume of gas flared globally amounts to 100 billion cubic meters (BCM) annually which is a huge waste as well causing severe environmental damage. This data indicates the urgent need to conduct research aimed at addressing both the environmental impact of gas flaring and the economic implications. The study proposed here  aims to research on the economic viability of using gas to wire (GTW) technology as an integral component of gas flare management. The key objective would be to evaluate the technological feasibility and economic viability of purifying potential flare gas and using the recovered components as raw materials for other processes. The benefit is twofold; natural gas (CH4) and H2 would be recovered from flue gas which could be used for other multiple downstream processes, complement the shortfall in energy supply especially in developing countries, and massive reduction on the impact of flared gas on the environment.  Full Topic text: Specific Challenge: Securing the sustainable access to raw materials, including metals, industrial minerals and construction raw materials, and particularly Critical Raw Materials (CRM), is of high importance for the EU economy. There is a need for innovative and sustainable raw materials production solutions at lower TRLs to increase the range and quality of raw materials recovered from primary and secondary resources. This specific challenge is identified in the Priority Area 'Technologies for primary and secondary raw materials production' of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials. Scope: Research & Innovation actions: Actions should develop sustainable systemic solutions through industrially- and user-driven multidisciplinary consortia covering the relevant value chain of non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials. Actions should evaluate the potential by-products existing in primary or secondary raw materials and should develop energy-, material- and cost-efficient new sustainable mineral processing and/or metallurgical technologies and processes to increase the selectivity and the recovery rates of valuable by-products, particularly critical raw materials. The importance of the targeted sources of by-products for the EU economy should be duly demonstrated in the proposal. Recycling of end-of-life products is excluded from this topic. Actions should develop sustainable solutions finishing at the level of Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 3-5. Expected Impact: The aim is to significantly decrease the volume of gas flared in oil and gas processing environments, increase process selectivity, and higher recovery rates of valuable raw materials in the form of methane and other valuable chemicals (critical raw materials) thereby unlocking substantial reserves of new or currently unexploited/underexploited resources within the EU. Moreover, the project aims at significantly increasing economic performance of such processes, while also improving significantly the health, safety and environmental performance of the operations throughout the whole life cycle which is considered, including a reduction in waste, and emissions generation and a better recovery of resources from generated waste. The outputs from this study will produce a new methodology to manage gas flare and generate publications in high impact journals, and patents.  
European Commission Contribution