By Rick Wilkinson
MELBOURNE, Feb. 24 -- Cool Energy Pty. Ltd., a private company in Perth, plans to test a cryogenic natural gas sweetening process at a pilot plant int a gas field in Western Australia's Perth basin. The plant is slated for operation in September.
Curtin University in Perth developed the process, which has the potential to solve environmental problems surrounding the development of fields having gas with a high carbon dioxide content.
The process freezes a dehydrated gas stream in a cryogenic chamber, which enables a gravity separation of solid particles. In the final step, the solids are melted to form separate liquid streams for removal. The product streams are sweet gas, propane, and butane. The waste stream includes liquid carbon dioxide.
Laboratory tests have been successful with 2 Mcfd of gas. Cool Energy plans the pilot plant to eventually be capable of handling 2 MMcfd. The plant will be capable of handling gas flows containing up to 20% CO2, and Cool is working on a process so the plant can handle gas flows of 70% CO2.