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Gas and oil exploration waste transformed into new energy


03-09-2017 16:29 BJT

Full coverage: 2017 NPC & CPPCC Sessions

(Source: CGTN)

By CGTN reporter Tang Bo

In February this year, China's Environmental Protection Ministry named and shamed 18 cities in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei province for their poor air quality controls. A large part of these areas suffer from air pollution blamed on coal burning. But in Tianjin, a private company has introduced new energy for heating from waste.

In this part of the city, what used to be waste becomes valuable. The Yangjiapo gas supply station in the outskirts of Tianjin is providing new energy to local heating systems.

It's called light hydrocarbon gas.

Light hydrocarbon is a liquid associated with the process of oil and gas exploration. It used to be discarded and burned, contributing to severe air pollution.

The process is also a waste of energy. But now, a new technology’s been developed to help take full advantage of the liquid. It’s mixed with air and turned into a kind of fuel that meets national standards. And more importantly, it’s more environment-friendly.

The new technology was invented by YLS Gas Systems Ltd. after more than 20 years of research and development.

Compared to natural gas, light hydrocarbon is safer as it is transported and stored under normal pressure and temperatures.

It aims to serve areas that natural gas pipelines cannot reach.

"Building natural gas pipelines is not an economical option for Yangjiapo town because of its small population. So we adopted this light hydrocarbon gas project that can replace coal to fuel the local heating system," Jia Ruiliang, chif engineer with Tianjin Binhai District Heating Group Ltd., said.

The gas supply station now serves government offices, schools, hospitals, and banks. It can also be connected to natural gas pipeline systems nearby to fill supply gaps.

"Light hydrocarbon can do whatever natural gas can do. Our system can also cover more areas, including remote villages and towns. It can help curb air pollution by replacing bulk coal that many factories have been using across China," Zhao Jie, general manager with YLS Gas Systems Ltd.,said.

China has been choking in smog for years, with northern areas the worst affected.

The National Environmental Protection Ministry has identified coal burning as a major source of pollution.

But light hydrocarbon could hold the key to the problem.

YLS estimates that 1 million tons of it can generate as much energy as more than 2 million tons of standard coal.

That means reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5 million tons, sulfur dioxide by 38,000 tons, and nitric oxide by 36,000 tons.

"Yangjiapo's gas supply station was built in only 34 days. As the need to cope with air pollution became urgent in China, such a fast and clean energy source will help shorten the process of air pollution control," Zhao said.

The world's major oil producing countries haven't started fully recycling light hydrocarbon.

YLS has therefore signed deals with the US and some Middle Eastern countries to import the liquid, helping reduce China’s over-reliance on oil and gas imports, and improve the country's energy structure.

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