The photo is sourced from neftegaz.ru
The associated petroleum gas has an excessive high calorific value and low antiknock rating; in addition, composition of its constituent gases is able to vary even within the same field. To solve these problems, the Institute of Catalysis SB RAS developed a special process of low-temperature steam reforming of APG, but applied non-noble nickel catalysts. Now the scientists offer to replace nickel by more active and stable rhodium.
“Possibility to use rhodium catalysts without pretreatment in a reducing medium is their another advantage,” the report quotes Sergey Uskov, a researcher at the Institute of Catalysis SB RAS.
The authors of the article have discovered that due to interaction of propane with hydrogen, a mixture of ethane and methane is formed during the reaction. This makes possible obtaining of gas mixtures with moderate calorific value and high antiknock rating from APG. The resulting gas can be effectively used as fuel for power generation that can used for oilfield needs or supplied to gas pipelines.
The research has revealed high activity of rhodium catalyst extended for a long time, lack of carbonising and possibility to obtain fuel gas with the required characteristics within a low temperature range (300-400 °С). One of the key features of rhodium catalysts is generation of small amounts of ethane, sufficient for regulation of the fuel characteristics of the resulting gas. In addition, the scientists have found that water vapour availability in the reaction mixture enhances the effect of ethane accumulation at higher temperatures. The researchers attribute this to the fact that the ethane-to-methane conversion reaction is suppressed in the water vapour presence.
“Fundamentally, we are interested in the very possibility of selective production of ethane from propane. That’s why, we are going to figure out how the reaction works, and how we can control the process. This will be the focus of further project work,” S. Uskov says.
The project will be completed in 2023, and the obtained results can be used in the future in the technology of efficient utilisation of the associated petroleum gases.