Membrane Technology and the Future of Oil and Gas Extraction
Oil and gas extraction is increasingly faced with difficult separation processes and Arian Nijmeijer, Senior Engineer for Process Development, and Team Leader in Membrane Technology for Shell, is leading the charge towards both demonstrating and developing membrane technology as a solution to this complex issue.
Arian, who is based at the Shell Technology Centre in Amsterdam, leads a three-person team as part of Projects and Technology Innovation Downstream Development. He is also Project Manager for membrane technology implementation. “We used to be part of long-term research, but our projects are increasingly taking place in the field,” he says. “They are still research pilots, but some have been part of the production process for years. We think it’s fantastic that we are able to work in the field, because we’re really keen on demonstrating what membrane technology can accomplish. It’s increasingly becoming standard technology.”
“It is true that easy oil is gone, but because the industry is increasingly facing difficult separation processes, membrane technology is an exciting field to work in.”
When he talks about membrane technology his enthusiasm is palpable. “The great thing about membranes is that they work so simply. You filter by means of a pressure difference. The dirty stuff doesn’t pass through, the clean stuff does,” he explains. “You can pick which components you want to allow to pass through and which ones you don’t. It’s a physical process that takes place on a molecular level.”
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