ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC and BASF Corp., the North American affiliate of Germany’s BASF SE, are conducting a full-scale commercial demonstration of a new gas treating solvent at Imperial Oil’s Sarnia Refinery in Canada. The companies jointly developed the new amine-based solvent aimed at meeting stringent sulphur emissions standards with greater efficiency, further raising the bar for tail gas treating and acid gas removal processes.
The innovative technology improves the selective removal of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and minimises the co-absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2) from gas streams. The highly selective properties of the solvent allow refiners and gas processors to increase capacity and lower operating costs in existing equipment. For new treating facilities, the usage of the technology will reduce the size of the equipment and the initial capital investments.
When used in a tail gas treating unit in conjunction with a Claus sulfur recovery unit (SRU), the new technology has the capability to achieve greater than 99.99% overall sulphur recovery and very low emissions to cope with future requirements, according to BASF. Pilot plant testing has demonstrated superior performance characteristics over methyldiethanolamine (MDEA) formulations and even improvements over FLEXSORB™ SE/ SE Plus solvents, which are registered trademarks of ExxonMobil.
“The new solvent technology will provide immediate benefits to ExxonMobil facilities and to our gas treating customers,” said Dan Moore, president of ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC. “This commercial demonstration is to tangibly show the new level of performance.”
“Thoroughly tested at BASF’s dedicated pilot plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, the solvent showed improved H2S selectivity and lower energy consumption than other selective solvents,” said Andreas Northemann, vice president of BASF Gas Treatment.