Technology spawned from shale gas got special notice this month in Pennsylvania, with two innovations taking top honors in a competition geared to maximize the economic return from the Marcellus and Utica shales.
The Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center's (SGICC) Shale Gas Innovation Competition awarded $25,000 each to two new technologies:
The 12 finalists' presentations were "first class," said SGICC Director Bill Hall. "Awarding the prizes to just two applicants was a difficult job for the judges."
The competition was sponsored by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Little Pine Resources, Chesapeake Energy, First National Bank and Schlumberger Ltd. The judges were senior gas industry experts and included representatives from sponsoring companies as well as Consol Energy and Range Resources Corp.
Finalists included Aither Chemicals LLC for its process to convert ethane for the petrochemical industry; EMS Energy Institute, which identified a way to convert natural gas to dimethyl ether as a transportation fuel; Greenways Inc., for developing a flowback water filter press treatment system for shale wastewater; HydroConfidence Inc.'s hydrocarbon and cement integrity detection system for groundwater and the freshwater casing; J&J Truck Bodies & Trailers' patent-pending dust control technology for existing sand equipment; and MicroEnergies LLC's Microchannel Fischer Tropsch natural gas-to-liquid fuel wellhead application.
In addition, OsComp Ltd. developed a rotary compressor that allows natural gas and natural gas liquids to be piped together from the wellhead; ProChem Tech International Inc. developed a sequential precipitation and fractional crystallization treatment of shale wastewater; Seraph Energy LLC created an engine conversion system from diesel to all natural gas; and S4 Worldwide LLC offered a mobile real-time site monitoring and security system.