For many people, the use of natural gas for heating or cooking seems obvious. But the gas that comes from the ground is not immediately suitable for use. Various components, such as sulphur and mercury compounds, have to be removed. The removal of sulphur from natural gas contributes to a cleaner combustion of the gas and thus a significantly better air quality. Thanks to technological progress, sulphur-rich gas fields, which were once considered unprofitable, can now be developed.

Once the gas is clean, there are several options for use. It can enter the pipeline for generic household use. Customers can use it in liquid form as Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). Shell's gas-to-liquids (GTL) process also uses clean gas to turn liquid products into liquid products. Natural gas is not only used in households, for the production of LNG or GTL products, but also to generate electricity. A natural gas plant that generates electricity halves the CO2 emissions in comparison with a coal plant.

The test facilities at ETCA facilitate the development of new and more efficient gas processing technologies. The laboratory technicians investigate various ways of removing unwanted components by using, for example, solvents. Another option is adsorption grains to which the unwanted components stick, or a catalytic process that changes the particles into a harmless substance.

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