The Gas Research Institute (GRI) has begun an R&D Program directed towards natural gas processing issues. Of particular interest is research on problems connected with small-scale subquality natural gas processing. Both fundamental, knowledge-building and applied research are carried out.

Studies of the resource base were undertaken in order to focus the program on those areas of greatest importance. The size of the total resource was estimated at 600 TCF (17 Tm3), of which approximately 40% had significant H, S, COy or K2 contamination. The size of the present and estimates of the future Lower-48 gas processing industry was then developed based on the resource estimates and other factors. An engineering and construction firm, M.W. Kellogg Company, was contracted with to provide a suite of designs/cost estimates for representative industry standard small-scale plants to serve as a baseline with which to evaluate new technology against These results are expected to be available early in 1991. Major findings of the - studies so far are an unexpectedly large regime of economic viability for hybrid systems of amines with membranes for CO2 removal. Two major field activities were started - testing of cellulose acetate membranes for CO2 removal with simultaneous dehydration, and testing of the Su£Ferox liquid redox process for sulfur recovery.

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