Sweetening of raw natural gas is cited by ERI an enormous new growth market for
pressure exchangers. Theoretically perhaps, but realistically not obviuos, because unlike
water, the cost of potential down time is astronomical. Take a 50 MM cf/Day natural gas cleaning plant
using about 100 GPM amine flow pressure exchanger that cost about $ 15,000.00, the potential
revenue loss for a day's operational interuption at $ 15/MMBTU (international price) is in the order
of $ 750,000.00. When touting paybacks of 3-5 years, the revenue loss equals the investment cost
in 30 minutes downtime for this application, while for desalination the daily revenue loss is about $ 300.00.
No wonder Tom Roony is quiet about "up time" and states field trials are "promising"! Although pressure exchangers has the best uptime, it subtracts when it becomes an added component and it would take many years to establish long term reliability under such ultra extreme revenue sensitivity. No accident isobaric energy recovery, such as ERI's PX pressure exchanger is established in SWRO desalination with cost of interuption being 0.04 % of gas prosessing.
Very good insight Arvedarve. The level of contaminants in the rich amine stream is orders of magnitude higher than the brine stream in SWRO applications where PX has made its mark. PX MTBF may be measured in days in a gas plant. Throw in the presence of gas bubbles (a PX killer per their warranty) and you have one big mess.. Not to worry, the intention may be to sell ERI to a large cash rich company before things become self-evident..So buy now but be ready to bail when the bubble pops..