ChBE Distinguished Alumni Seminar Series: Jaime Valencia
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Room 2110 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
Professor Panagiotis Dimitrakopoulos
The CFZ TechnologyIncreasing Natural Gas Industry Sustainability and Facilitating Geosequestration
Jaime Valencia (B.S. '73)
ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company
Web Site »
Natural gas is the cleanest burning hydrocarbon fuel available, and its growing demand is only projected to rise throughout this century. At the same time, the remaining global natural gas resources are increasingly sour in nature. Removal, management and disposal of the significant amount of contaminants present in sour natural gas pose technical, economic and environmental challenges for which new and innovative technologies are needed. ExxonMobil's Controlled Freeze ZoneTM (CFZ) technology will not only expand the pool of clean-burning natural gas resources available, but also make carbon capture and storage more affordable and efficient in reducing emissions.
Controlled Freeze Zone is an efficient single-step cryogenic distillation process for the removal of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and other impurities from natural gas. Rather than avoiding the freezing of CO2 at cryogenic temperatures, the solidification is allowed to take place, albeit in a very controlled fashion. The technology has shown the potential to more efficiently and cost-effectively separate carbon dioxide and other impurities from natural gas, and to discharge these contaminants as a high-pressure liquid stream ready for underground injection, either for enhanced oil recovery applications or for acid gas injection disposal.
A CFZ Commercial Demonstration Plant (CDP) has been constructed and is undergoing testing and demonstration operations. It is located in Wyoming, U.S., at the site of a large gas plant which processes one of the lowest hydrocarbon content sour gases in the world. Varying blends of methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide are fed to the CDP, covering a wide range of compositions, representative of major global sour gas resources. The CDP is also integrated with the existing plant acid gas injection facilities, which at present is one of the largest geosequestration operations in the world.