BASF's Catalysts division will provide a total of 2,000 tons of its Sorbead H and WS for the world's largest gas dehydration and hydrocarbon removal plant based on adsorption technology, located at the Portovaya Compression Station near the Russian town of Vyborg. The total represents the single largest amount of Sorbead ever ordered for gas purification.
Siirtec Nigi S.p.A will supply engineering as well as equipment and materials for the Portovaya plant which is an important part of the Nord Stream Project. The company will also be responsible for erection supervision and start-up. Siirtec Nigi chose BASF's high performance silica gel for high-quality natural gas purification in order to secure a reliable natural gas supply.
Security in natural gas supply plays a crucial role in providing Europe with natural gas. In the natural gas purification process, water and heavy hydrocarbons are removed before transportation via sub-sea pipelines. Any remaining impurities in natural gas can result in a pipeline plugging with high contract penalty.
"There are very stringent specifications for the purity of natural gas transported by sub-sea pipelines," says Ray Racher, Business Manager Sorbead & Aluminas, BASF. "With our high performance alumino-silica gels Sorbead H and WS we are able to meet the very stringent treated gas specifications."
"The plant will dehydrate and control the hydrocarbon dew point of 170 millions cubic meters per day of natural gas. Our high performance alumino-silica gels are designed to work under tough working conditions, e.g. operating this plant at 75 bar pressure," remarks Waldemar Lind, Sales Manager Europe Adsorbents, BASF.
The special alumino-silica gel is produced in an oil-drop process at BASF Catalysts' plant in Nienburg, Germany. By the aggregation of different material streams in a controlled aging process an exceptionally durable alumino-silica gel with a high surface area and absorptive capacity is manufactured. Sorbead H is especially designed for the removal of hydrocarbons from a natural gas mix. The water-stable alumino-silica gel Sorbead WS - constituted through additional process steps - is especially rugged and used as a protective layer against liquid carry-over into the adsorption towers. Worldwide, there are more than 240 natural gas adsorption plants that are operated with BASF's alumino-silica gel.