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Removal of carbon dioxide from natural gas: New technology enables energy and cost reduction


* Cooperation of JGC , INPEX and BASF successful

The Japanese companies JGC Corporation and I NPEX Corporation jointly with BASF SE have successfully completed test s of a new technology for the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from natural gas under high pressure . The performance of this new gas treatment technology enables a reduction of 25 to 35 percent in the cost of CO2 recovery and compression.

The so-called “High Pressure Acid gas Capture Technology” (HiPACT) was developed by JGC and BASF . The tests of the technology commenced in August 2010, at INPEX ’ Koshijihara natural gas plant, one of the largest plants of this type in Japan, located in Nagaoka city .

“We greatly appreciate the involvement of INPEX, allowing us to test the new technology in a commercial natural gas plant . Targeting demand in the market, we successfully demonstrated an excellent energy saving performance , ” said Mr. Takashi Yasuda, Executive Officer and Senior General Manager of the Research & Development Division at JGC .

“ INPEX strives to reduce energy consumption as much as possible. This new technology offers a great opportunity to improve energy conservation. It also reduces our carbon footprint and helps curb greenhouse gas emissions”, added Mr. Kazuo Yamamoto , Executive Officer and Vice President of the Technical Division at I NPEX .

“This test wa s a critical milestone in the commercialization of a new technology for which the market has been looking for some time”, said Dr. Andreas Northemann , head of the Gas Treatment Solutions business unit within BASF’s Intermediates division.

Saving energy in the removal of carbon dioxide

Natural gas, an increasingly important source of energy, often contains CO2 when it is extracted from the well. M ost of this CO2 is usually removed directly at the natural-gas source. Th e removal is achieved by means of an amine-based solvent developed by BASF. The solvent temporarily absorbs the CO2 from the high-pressure natural gas stream. The solvent is then regenerated at low pressure and fed back to the process , but this regeneration requires energy . Traditionally the CO2 released in the regeneration process has been emitted to the environment.

Alternatively the CO2 can be injected underground for storage after separation from the natural gas. To do that the CO2 must first be compressed above its high pressure. This has to date required an additional high energy input, which the new process can reduce significantly . The process uses a solvent that is not affected by high pressure levels and elevated temperatures during regeneration, so it remains stable and intact during the capture process. Thus, t he new technology can be operated at a higher pressure. This reduces the cost of compressi ng the CO2 for underground re-injection. Moreover, the solvent, which has an excellent CO2 absorption capability compared to the existing solvents, enables reduction of the solvent regeneration energy.

About JGC

Since the company’s establishment in 1928, JGC Corporation has left the mark of its highly advanced engineering technologies and excellent project management on numerous large-scale hydrocarbon projects the world over. As a leading global engineering company, JGC has experience accumulated from over 20,000 projects in more than 70 countries. Currently, JGC is bringing its engineering and construction expertise, well-honed project execution capabilities, and financing coordination to bear on new areas of project development, including the water business, the resource development business, and the development of revolutionary new technology. Further information on JGC is available on the Internet at


INPEX is a worldwide oil & gas exploration and production company based in Japan that ranks high among global Independent Upstream Companies next to Super Majors. INPEX is currently carrying out oil and natural gas projects through its group companies involved in more than 70 projects across 26 countries. While holding upstream oil and gas business as the core, INPEX aims to become a company which provides diversified forms of energy, including development of unconventional hydrocarbon resources and new energies. Further information on JGC is available on the Internet at

About BASF

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics and performance products to agricultural products, fine chemicals and oil and gas. As a reliable partner BASF creates chemistry to help its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of more than €50 billion in 2009 and had approximately 105,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information about BASF’s gas treatment activities is available at .


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