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Pilot trials completed for a new substitute-natural-gas process

By Gerald Ondrey |

Last month, Clariant AG (Muttenz, Switzerland; www.clariant.com) said that the pilot plant of a new process for making substitute natural gas (SNG) has been successfully tested, signifying that the technology is ready for commercial application. The process, called Vesta Once-through Methanation New Technology with Wide H2/CO Flexibility, is a joint development of Clariant, Wison Engineering (Shanghai; www.wison-engineering.com) and Amec Foster Wheeler (London, U.K.; www.amecfwc.com). Clariant provided the proprietary catalyst, Wison Engineering has been responsible for the engineering design, construction and operational management of the pilot plant, and Amec Foster Wheeler offered the authorized technology. The pilot plant — located in Shanghai — was built in June 2014 and all pilot tests were completed by the end of April 2016. Vesta is a methanation technology for producing SNG from synthesis gas obtained from gasification of either coal or petroleum coke. It is a once-through operation with no need for expensive compressors. The SNG production is easy to operate, since it does not require strict control of the hydrogen-to-carbon ratio, and therefore, the product quality is more stable and reliable. The CO2 and H2O content…
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