WVU Program Converts Stranded Shale Gas into “Valuable Products”

West Virginia University (WVU) has joined a national effort to “turn natural gas into valuable products and do it at the well.” There are many locations in the Marcellus (and Utica) where pipelines don’t yet connect. Wells drilled but not hooked up to production. WVU has joined the newest branch of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Network of Manufacturing Institutes. Called Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment institute, or RAPID, the institute “will focus on using advanced manufacturing to develop breakthrough technologies to boost the productivity and efficiency of some of industrial processes by 20 percent in the next five years.” That is, they plan to design modular reactors–think of them as teeny tiny crackers–that can be carted around well site to well site, converting methane, ethane and other hydrocarbons into new chemical products. It’s a very exciting concept. WV in particular has a lot of hilly terrain that makes installing pipelines difficult. This is a potential solution to that problem…

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