The GasReformer uses steam reforming technology to convert the hydrocarbon-rich gas, which is burned off during oil refinement, and ultimately released into the atmosphere at a global rate of 150bn cu mtr, and 400m t of Carbon Dioxide, per year.
The sequestration of the gas would enable the utilisation of a hitherto entirely untapped fuel source, equating to 30% of the EU’s annual gas consumption. Wärtsilä suggests the product would be ideally suited to Oil platforms and FPSOs, which themselves utilise high levels of power. The measure would ultimately move to eliminate the need for the bunkering of Marine Diesel Oil on the vessels.
"Wärtsilä has considerable experience in the treatment of gaseous fuels for fuel cells, and this patented product is a result of this development work,” says Tore Lunde, Director Wärtsilä Oil & Gas Systems. “It is yet another example of the company's ability to develop solutions that combine both economic and environmental benefits. The uniqueness of the GasReformer is in its ability to convert unwanted heavier fractions from the gas into methane. By turning otherwise waste gas into fuel, the system significantly lowers operating costs while notably enhancing environmental sustainability. In locations where flaring is prohibited, this is especially important."