State-of-the-art, around-the-clock operation
The Gas Processing and Conversion Research Facility at the Australian Resources Research Centre in Perth, Western Australia has been designed for unmanned 24-hour operation and has a level of process safety usually only associated with industrial-scale operations.
The state-of-the-art facility allows determination of critical process data to support the development and/or enhancement of mathematical models, including kinetic/process models, and heat and mass transfer models. It also enables investigations into optimising reaction or process conditions and assists in reactor and catalyst design.
The facility has the essential front-end gas handling infrastructure to enable complementary research capabilities in gas processing and conversion study.
The facility can operate continuously for months at a time, enabling our researchers to provide industry with data most relevant to their processes.
Work undertaken in our gas processing research area includes gas pre-treatment and cryogenic distillation. This work provides experimental evaluation and validation of complex cryogenic process simulations that can be directly applied to the existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing train.
The facility has been used to value add natural gas feedstock (or other sources of syngas) through catalytic conversion processes. Our emphasis is on the development and/or optimisation of processes for applications such as synthetic fuels production (e.g. gas to liquids), hydrogenation, isomerisation, oxidation and fuel upgrading.
The facility can also be used as a valuable training platform – supporting Australia’s gas processing communities both from academic institutes and industry.
Equipment and laboratories
- Front end gas supply and delivery system up to 1200 L/hr of gas.
- A cryogenic distillation, demethanation column (scrub column) (2 m length, 50 mm ID) with:
- Multiple gases feed in multiple location along the column
- Optional tray configuration within the column
- Controlled temperature along the column (multiple temperature control), –100°C to 100°C.
- Pressure up to 50 bar
- On-line rapid analysis (feed and top and bottom products)
- Three fixed-bed reactor systems of different size and scale with:
- Multiple gases input capability
- Temperatures up to 500°C (isothermal or temperature programmed along the reactor) and pressures of up to 50 bar
- catalyst masses from a few grams to ~200 g
- Liquid feed option
- On-line gas analysis (feed and products)
- Liquid product collection and analysis
- On-line and off-line analysers:
- Two Refiner Gas Analysers (RGA) and a mass spectrometer (MS) for thorough on-line gas analysis (permanent gas, hydrogen and light hydrocarbons)
- GC/GC-MS for liquid products analyses
- A wet laboratory for catalyst synthesis and sample preparation.
- Dedicated control room with appropriate safety interlocks and alarm systems
- Off-gas treatment systems.
There are also opportunities to incorporate other reactor systems or process units into the current facility, taking advantage of the substantial gas handling infrastructure already in place.