Separation & treatment of gases
STG's aim is to help reduce the climate footprint of our activities, by developing viable CO2 capture solutions. But, we also strive to develop new solutions that are safer, more efficient and more economical, focusing in particular on compactness and flexibility, to meet ever-more stringent production quality specifications.
TESTING OF INNOVATIVE GAS SEPARATION SOLUTIONS
Design and operation of experimental facilities of all sizes to evaluate gas separation technologies, in particular those relevant to CO2 capture and gas treatment.
The evaluation of new CO2 capture and gas treatment materials and technologies, such as solvents, adsorbents, membranes, that are more efficient and less energy-intensive, such as the commercial range of "HySWEET" solvents developed by Total.
Evaluation of new compact gas treatment technologies that are unaffected by sea swell, for floating facilities or subsea gas processing (subsea high-pressure gas dehydration) to keep up with the increasing use of subsea processing on our deep- and ultra-deep offshore developments.
Construction of special test benches to qualify technologies involving gases, such as new miniaturized analyzers.
DESIGN OF CUSTOMIZED PILOT EQUIPMENT
To provide customized responses to specific R&D needs on gas issues (detection, separation, treatment), particularly as regards toxic gases such as H2S.
We focus on the reliability and accuracy of our experimental data in order to meet the major challenge of reducing the CAPEX and OPEX of our industrial facilities.
For example, these data serve to fine-tune the accuracy of models used for designing gas separation and treatment units, and to improve the robustness of their performance predictions, thereby shrinking the design margins that have a direct impact on costs.
FROM THE LABORATORY TO LARGE-SCALE RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURES
A wide range of tools, related to the topics studied (absorption, adsorption, membrane separation, solvent analysis, gas analysis, gas detection, etc.), are used to characterize and assess innovative technologies.
SPANNING A WIDE RANGE OF PRESSURES AND TEMPERATURES
From -80 to 200°C, and up to 300 bar.
GAS SEPARATION AND TREATMENT
- University of Pau et des Pays de l'Adour (UPPA)
- Boulder University (Colorado): CO2 capture and gas treatment
- Svante (British Columbia, Canada): CO2 capture
- METEC (Methane Emission Test and Evaluation Center) Colorado State University (United States)
- École Des Mines ParisTech
- ESTIA (higher school of advanced industrial technologies)
CO2 CAPTURE UNDER TEST
The VeloxoTherm™ technology developed by the Canadian start-up Svante looks promising.
This technology is based on the use of a structured, laminated adsorbent implemented in a rotary adsorption machine. It should contribute to significantly reducing the size, and therefore the CAPEX, of CO2 capture equipment in comparison to a conventional solvent capture process.
Owing to its interest in this innovative technology, the Group has entered into a partnership with Svante, alongside Lafarge Canada and FLSmidth (leading supplier of equipment and services for the cement industry) in the framework of the CO2MENT project. One of the objectives is to evaluate a demonstration pilot capable of capturing 1 ton/day of CO2 from the combustion fumes of the LafargeHolcim cement plant in Richmond (Canada). In this pilot, the capture of CO2 will be coupled with mineralization technologies so the gas can be used in concrete manufacturing.
At the same time, a process demonstration unit (PDU) with a capture capacity of 100 kg of CO2 per day is being operated in-house by PERL teams to test and optimize the performance of the technology.
Handling toxic, flammable fluids is the hallmark of this historic hub of expertise initially set up to pursue R&D on the sour gas extracted from the Lacq gas field in the 1960s. It has the skills, equipment and infrastructure needed to use these products in complete safety.
The handling of substantial quantities of H2S (several dozen kg) as part of its research activities on acid gas separation is obviously one of its most noteworthy areas of expertise. However, its capabilities also include the handling of many other types of flammable and/or toxic gases – hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, mercaptans, hydrogen – and synthesis gases (propylene and ethylene), which are used in research work to optimize processes for gas separation and treatment, and of course for CO2 capture and transportation.
RELIABLE EQUIPMENT FOR CUTTING-EDGE EXPERIMENTS
The Lacq Pilot Platform (PPL) covers nearly 5.5 ha within the Seveso-3 Induslacq industrial platform, which adjoins the PERL laboratories. Its purpose is to host large-scale research facilities that are crucial for the Group and complementary to the work conducted in the PERL laboratories.
These research infrastructures can use all the raw materials and products typically generated on production sites (toxic and/or flammable gases including H2S, oil, produced water, etc.), in compliance with the safety procedures of sites meeting ICPE (Installation Classified for the Protection of the Environment) requirements.
Ever since 2018, the PPL has been home to TADI (Total Anomaly Detection Initiatives), a unique testing infrastructure of more than 2,000 square meters, dedicated to safety (prevention of major accidents) and the environment (reduction of emissions). A robotics test site right next to the TADI platform is used by the Total R&D team to develop ground robotics, a forward-looking disruptive technology on the road to a new era for the surveillance of oil & gas sites.
In parallel with these achievements, discussions are under way to develop new projects to make the platform a major tool for experiments in green energy, flow assurance, and CO2 capture, transport and injection.
Optimizing the prevention of major accidents is an absolute priority.
To achieve this goal, the "safety" project relies on TADI (Total Anomaly Detection Initiatives), a test site designed to qualify innovative technologies for detecting, locating and classifying gas leaks.
A true industrial theater, both realistic and modular owing to the use of equipment from the former Lacq plant, the facility enables users to reproduce in a controlled environment, a wide variety of environmental or accident scenarios from field REX, with leak flow rates ranging from 0.1 to 300 g/s.
The project is on the verge of moving up to the next level and entering the era of digital prevention through the development of an intelligent, real-time and remote diagnosis and decision-making tool.
Inaugurated in 2019, the Robotics Development Platform completes the range of Group resources devoted to the development of ground robots for oil & gas sites. Adjoining the TADI test facility and optimized for robotics, this test area includes a modular 6-meter high structure and several test benches. It will serve to both train operators in how to use the technology and to define the specifications for future versions of robots and new operating philosophies.
At the cutting edge of this vital topic for its future unmanned operating facilities, Total has kicked off a ground robot pilot – the very first of its kind (in the world). The pilot is backed by the OGTC (Oil & Gas Technology Center), and run on the TEP UK Shetland gas plant site.
It deploys two robots capable of autonomously detecting anomalies in relation to a known standard situation, monitoring process parameters, creating maps and moving on all types of surfaces in the facility, including climbing and descending stairs.
For more information:
- Liquefied natural gas/ HySWEET®: removal of acid gases and sulfur compounds
- Digital prevention of major accidents
- Research & development: ground robotics
- ARGOS Challenge: building tomorrow’s oil & gas robot
- AUSEA: an on-board spectrometer to better trace our greenhouse gas emissions
- Research & Development : Gas Solutions & Sustainable Development