Emission free compression – increased efficiency for environmental protection

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The previous NEA blog entry highlighted the suitability of biomethane reciprocating compressors in conjunction with an energy-efficient and therefore sustainable compression process for the expansion of renewable energies. As, in addition to carbon dioxide, primarily methane and nitrogen oxide belong to the most harmful greenhouse gases for the environment, it is indispensable to reduce their emission during generation, extraction, transport and use to the possible technical minimum.

Even if the latest figures published by the German Federal Government show a greenhouse gas reduction of some 6.3% within the past year, we nonetheless require a continuous increase in the efficiency of industrial processes. These alone are responsible for half of the globally emitted non-natural methane quantities, which is equivalent to some 25 million t/a of anthropogenic methane - in Germany alone - taking a carbon dioxide equivalent of 6.2%of all greenhouse gases into account.

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The application of gas tight NEA crankcases prevents the direct emission of methane into the atmosphere and requires less generation and transport energy for the equivalent gas quantity.

—Philipp Leipner, Project Manager at NEUMAN & ESSER GROUP

NEA’s response to the customers’ demand of zero emission

The need for emission-free compressor technology was already apparent to NEUMAN & ESSER during the mid-2000s, which is why the NEA R&D Department developed the already proven crankcase construction sizes further as gas tight versions and has extended them step-by-step to be more pressure-resistant s. Since then, these crankcases have been abbreviated with GT (gas tight). In addition to their increased crankcase stability due to higher cast wall thicknesses, an appropriate shaft seal construction must be implemented here. This takes place individually, dependent on the application and customer specification, always under the assumption of gas tightness and lifetime. Thanks to the experience gained over several years and proven design methods, NEUMAN & ESSER is in the meantime able to react to inquiries even with special customer requirements very individually and customer-orientated at short notice - within two weeks.

Thanks to the use of the NEA crankcases adapted to these requirements, leakage reductions for gas gathering and distribution processes, for example in the area of the biomethane feeding systems, are made possible. Therefore, for example, in a gas tight compressor system with one stage compression from 10 to 25 bar (320 kW shaft power at 740 rpm), 350,000 Nm³ of natural gas can be saved or additionally used per year by preventing leakages. This is equivalent to the annual heating and hot water requirements for 200 detached houses. The use of gas tight and pressure-resistant crankcases for this efficiency increase has already been part of the NEUMAN & ESSER biogas portfolio for more than ten years, which boasts six basic models in the meantime.

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The application of these crankcases on the one hand prevents the direct emission of methane into the atmosphere. On the other hand, less generation and transport energy is required for the desired gas quantity. Moreover, NEUMAN & ESSER follows the prevention of gas emission in unusual operating conditions via the use of intelligent backflow devices and leakage free plant technology and controls. In order to keep investments low in the customer’s and operator’s interests, NEUMAN & ESSER manages without cost-intense and space-consuming leakage compressors here.

However, the advantages of gas tight compressor and leakage-free equipment technology are not only restricted to the generation and distribution of alternative energy carriers in Europe. It has already been applied on increasing numbers of continents in various - also petrochemical - processes. In addition to the energy-related view with a sustainable perspective, also the production costs per cubic meter of gas generated or transported (irrespective of whether methane or nitrogen) are gaining in their importance. The example cited above can be estimated at up to €224,000 additional turnover per annum (related to the end consumer price). Independent of the area of application, these advantages combine themselves to a real win-win situation: increased environmental protection and reduction of sources of danger combined with an increased effectiveness.

Source: NEA Website