TAMUQ and Qatar Shell collaborate to advance research on water
Dec 11, 2014
TAMUQ and QSRTC have a new R&D Agreement to intensify research efforts to find solutions for the management of water, brine and salt at Pearl GTL
Doha, 12 November 2014: Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) and Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre (QSRTC) have a new Research & Development Agreement to intensify research efforts to find innovative solutions for the management of water, brine and salt at Pearl GTL, the world’s largest gas-to-liquid plant developed by QatarEnergy (QE) and Shell.
As part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed last year between QSRTC and TAMUQ, both partners have committed to strengthening their long-standing partnership by embarking upon beneficial research in the field of water solutions. The agreement aligns perfectly with the water security ‘Grand Challenge’ of the Qatar National Research Strategy and will help pave the way for a more sustainable future for Qatar.
In accordance with the Qatar National Vision 2030, current research will seek to bolster environmental development by exploring cost-effective and eco-friendly options to upgrade the quality of by-products of Pearl GTL’s onsite effluent water treatment and recovery plant. The project will evaluate several methods to reuse brine (salt water) and produce purified marketable industrial grade salt, while minimising energy consumption and waste generation at the Pearl GTL plant.
"Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre is keen to support educational institutions across Qatar by partnering with reputable universities, such as Texas A&M University at Qatar and other Qatari institutions, to develop research projects that focus on the advancement of science and technology. Qatar Shell endeavours to create a knowledge-based economy by advancing the technical capabilities and knowledge of our younger generations in areas that are vital to the country’s prosperity."Wael Sawan, Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell Companies
The management of water resources is a critical issue that impacts the whole of Qatar society. “Qatar Shell is determined to address the role that water plays in oil and gas processes, and we are especially committed to assessing and managing our water footprint,” he added.
Several steps are required to achieve current research goals, including a comprehensive feasibility study that will focus on brine and salt quality, the development of salt purification methods and an assessment of a pilot scale plant.
"Today’s memorandum of understanding enhances the already strong relationship between Qatar Shell and Texas A&M at Qatar,” said Dr. Mark H. Weichold, dean and CEO of Texas A&M at Qatar. "This research partnership aligns with the environmental and economic development pillars of QNV 2030 and addresses one of QNRF’s Grand Challenges — water security.
"Texas A&M at Qatar is proud to partner with industry collaborators such as Qatar Shell and the Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre to help realize sustainable solutions to real-world issues for the benefit of the State of Qatar and its greatest natural resource, its people."Dr Weichold
Mr Sawan explained that the Pearl GTL plant not only uses water, but produces as much water as GTL products. The chemical reaction that occurs when synthesis gas passes over catalysts in the plant produces water, as well as the building blocks for GTL products. The amount of water that Pearl GTL produces makes it possible to run the plant without drawing on Qatar’s scarce natural freshwater resources or seawater.
Similarly, Shell reuses all of the water produced as part of an integrated strategy to prevent any liquid waste discharge from the plant. The water processing facility at the Pearl GTL plant recovers and treats all the process water produced within the plant. With the capacity to treat 280,000 barrels of water a day, this facility is comparable to a domestic water treatment plant for a town of 140,000 people.
Over the last decade, Qatar Shell and TAMUQ have worked on several successful initiatives together, including Shell and TAMUQ’s partnership in the Aviation Fuel Consortium, GTL Jet Fuel Programme, and the Shell-Eco Marathon Competition.
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Shell is the largest international investor in Qatar having invested USD 21 billion over the past decade. QatarEnergy and Shell have jointly delivered two of the largest energy projects in the world in Ras Laffan Industrial City. Pearl Gas to Liquids (GTL) is the world’s largest GTL plant and cements Qatar’s position as the GTL capital of the world. At an investment of up to USD19 billion it represents the largest single investment in the Shell Group’s global portfolio.
The Qatargas 4 Liquefied Natural Gas project (QE (70%) and Shell (30%) combines Shell’s global leadership in LNG with Qatar’s position as the world’s largest LNG supplier.
Shell has established a world-class research and development facility and a learning centre, the Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre, at the Qatar Science & Technology Park. Shell has a financial commitment to invest up to USD100 million on programmes in support of energy and the environment at the Centre over a 10-year period.
Qatar Shell contributes to the objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030 not only through our economic investments, but also through our investments in national talent and capability development, both internally through the professional development of our Qatari employees, and externally through our extensive Corporate Social Responsibility programme, positively impacting Qatar, in partnership with Qatari institutions.
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