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Oil and gas industry news: 23 October 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Air Products

Air Products is building a hydrogen lab at its corporate headquarters in Allentown, Pennsylvania, that will support the fast growing oil recycling industry. A key feature of the new lab is a hydrotreatment unit capable of performing high pressure and high temperature hydrogenation reactions. Air Products will use the new hydrogen lab, which is scheduled to be operational in the third quarter of 2015, to help oil recyclers optimise their hydrotreatment processes.

Air Products’ new hydrotreatment unit has been designed to test the hydrogenation of various feedstocks over continuous flow fixed bed catalyst reactors. The company will use the hydrotreatment unit to evaluate for its customers the impact of feed quality, catalysts, and other operating parameters on product quality, throughput, and process economics.

Vipul Dholakia said, ‘if hydrotreatment is not carried out under optimal conditions, an inferior quality of base oil is produced that has to be either reprocessed or sold at a discounted prices. The testing capability of the new hydrogen lab, combined with our knowledge and experience as a hydrogenation reaction and gas applications leader, will enable us to help oil recyclers increase profitability by improving their product quality and processing efficiency.’


Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) have opened a demonstration facility that will turn waste cooking oil, commonly referred to as gutter oil in China, into sustainable aviation biofuel. The two companies estimate that 500 million gal. of biofuel could be made annually in China from used cooking oil. Boeing and COMAC are sponsoring the facility, which is called the China-US Aviation Biofuel Pilot Project. It will use a technology developed by Hangzhou Energy & Engineering Technology Co., Ltd. to clean contaminants from waste oils and convert it into jet fuel at a rate of 160 gal./d. The project’s goal is to assess the technical feasibility and cost of producing higher volumes of biofuel.

Ian Thomas, President, Boeing China said, ‘strong and continuing teamwork between Boeing and COMAC is helping our industry make progress on environmental challenges that no single company or country can solve alone. By working together for mutual benefit, we’re finding innovative ways to support China’s aviation industry and build a sustainable future.’


ClearSign Combustion Corporation has won the New Technology Development of the Year Award, at the 2014 West Coast Oil & Gas awards, an industry initiative to recognise forward thinking organisations across the oil and gas industry. ClearSign won the award for advancements in the emissions control space with its Duplex Tile technology. CEO Rick Rutkowski accepted the award on behalf of the company at a gala dinner held in Bakersfield, California.

Rutowski said, ‘we are thrilled to have been selected to receive this award from among such a distinguished group of our peers. We believe that ClearSign’s Duplex Tile technology can indeed have a significant impact on the oil and gas industry by achieving next generation NOx emissions control combined with major performance improvements that can enable reduced operating cost and increased capacity in upstream, midstream and downstream operations. We are grateful for this strong endorsement of our achievement as we prepare to launch this game changing technology into the market.’

Diesel Technology Forum

Clean diesel cars were included among the five finalist positions for 2015 ‘Green Car of the Year’ award with the Audi A3 TDI clean diesel car and the VW Golf, which offers a new 2.0 ltr TDI clean diesel, gasoline and electric engines, being named as finalists. The other finalists are BMW i3, Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel and Honda Fit.

Since the Green Car of the Year award was created 10 years ago, clean diesels have had 10 finalists and two winners, with the Volkswagen Jetta TDI clean diesel winning in 2009 and the Audi A3 TDI clean diesel winning in 2010.

Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum said, ‘we’re pleased to see the new generation of clean diesel cars recognised again by the 2015 Green Car of the Year award and the editors of the Green Car Journal.’

The Economist

Following the news of Russia raising further conditions for resuming gas supplies to Ukraine, Peter Kiernan, Energy Analyst, The Economist Intelligence Unit, said the following; ‘Russia and Ukraine have been inching closer towards a deal, but the Russian demand that Ukraine provide guarantees that debts to Gazprom will be paid has been a last minute spoiler. There will be some concern in Europe that a deal has not yet been finalised, although ample gas storage will mitigate the impact of any cut off of Russian gas supply through Ukraine: provided that the cut off does not last several months. Gas demand in Europe has been weak this year, and the EIU expects consumption to contract in 2014, followed by a modest recovery in 2015.’

Edited from press releases by Claira Lloyd

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