White Paper Vast.Distributed.Direct.Incineration.Deepwater.Horizon.2010 05.03


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A white paper describing how VASTech could be applied to supplement existing open ocean oil spill response equipment to reduce temporary oil-water storage bottlenecks and strongly reduce costs of clean up overall.

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White Paper Vast.Distributed.Direct.Incineration.Deepwater.Horizon.2010 05.03

  1. 1. Develop and test clean on-site modular Distributed Direct Incineration of oil with water recovered from offshore oil spills. VAST Power Systems, Inc. et al. 3 May 2010 White Paper proposing Distributed Direct Incineration of Deepwater Horizon oil spill emulsions. Goal: Rapidly incinerate oil/water emulsions for much lower oil spill remediation. Executive Summary Once deployed, VAST Distributed Direct Incinerators could cut 30% to 50% of projected Deepwater Horizon cleanup costs by incinerating the oil/water emulsion on site. We propose an emergency footing development and construction effort to field one dozen containerized Distributed Direct Incinerators within 60 days, with incentives to field them within 30 days. Effective incineration could save a substantial portion of the $3 billion to $14 billion costs and damages analysts are projecting. Design objectives: Incinerate heavy to light oil on-site in Gulf to Arctic conditions with up to 85% water. Maintain soot, NOX and CO emissions within marine operating limits. Use containerized modules on Oil Recovery (OR) vessels or on barges. Introduction The oil industry recognizes the need to improve oil spill response performance. Emulsifying oils from denser deep water Gulf fields like Deepwater Horizon are particularly difficult to clean up. 1 Oil spill response must be less sensitive to wave height and strong currents. Sweep speeds must increase to maximize the area coverage within the narrow window of opportunity given us by nature. Drilling a pressure relief well at Deepwater Horizon has been projected to take at least 90 days. The Ixtoc I Gulf 1979/1980 blowout took 10 months to contain. Cleaning costs for US marine oil spills ranged from US$1,050/bbl for offshore (1999 US$6,874/tonne) to US$3,815/bbl (US$25,066/tonne) near shore2. At 150,000 bbl/month, the Deepwater Horizon spill cleanup will likely cost $180 million to 600 million if the spill lasts three to ten months (at 5,000 bbl/day, $3,815/bbl or $60 million/month). However, analysts project far greater total costs ranging from $3 billion to $14 billion from environmental damage and harm to commercial industries, and legal damages. 3 About 50% to 80% of recovery costs often occur after initial recovery, especially in final treatment or disposal. Denser deep water oils form difficult sticky emulsions that prevent most cleanup techniques. Storage of recovered emulsion-oil is a major bottleneck in large oil spill response. Transferring oil to tankers or barges and shipment to harbors is another bottleneck. Operations in higher waves, near spawning grounds, stronger currents, and Arctic conditions needing faster response further increase costs and safety risks. VAST Technologies has developed a very clean combustion technology that can incinerate crude oil emulsions with up to 85% water. VAST has incinerated crude oil with no visible smoke. VAST 1 Big, messy spill exceeds cleanup capacity: experts, Reuters April 30, 2010 2 Dagmar Schmidt Etkin, Worldwide Analysis of Marine Oil Spill Cleanup cost Factors, Arctic and Marine Oilspill Program Technical Seminar (June 2000). 3 Cost of oil spill could exceed $14 billion, Tom Bergen, Reuters May 3, 2010 UK VAST Distributed Direct Incineration Proposal 1/5
  2. 2. proposes to take oil recovered from the Deepwater Horizon spill and to immediately incinerate it on- site in VAST Distributed Direct Incineration™ (DDI) systems. E.g., on board an OR vessel or on a barge. This may replace $48/gal to $80/gal ($2,000/bbl to $3,300/bbl) cleanup costs, by eliminating several costly steps in current oil spill recovery methods. Increased need for VAST onboard on-site incineration VAST DDI for on-site clean incineration of recovered oil will benefit spill recovery operations: 1. Less expensive: VAST eliminates the extremely costly transfer, shipment, and on-shore disposal/re-use operation. VAST's DDI may replace more than 50% of total cleanup costs. 2. Safer and less complicated: Eliminates most risky bad-weather-transfer of oil from response vessel to tanker. 3. Less air pollution. The VAST DDI system can incinerate recovered oil / water mixture at least as cleanly as land based facilities. 4. No trans-shipment from spill site to land based receiving facility, returning empty as with most spills. 5. Faster removal: Eliminates delays in response while transshipping recovered oil. 6. Site independent: VAST's modular portable technology enables on-site incineration in near- shore, off-shore, and in Arctic environments. 7. Sea conditions tolerant: VAST DDI will likely be much less affected by the sea conditions than booms, skimmers or dispersant-based treatment systems. 8. Spill agnostic: The same VASThermogenerator™ can burn virtually any petroleum product as fuel for the DDI process. It can use seawater as coolant to control combustion temperatures. This minimizes the equipment required for handling different types of petroleum products at oil spill response centers. 9. Heat for process enhancement: Incineration heat is recovered to generate steam or hot water for cleaning and enhanced skimmer and transfer pump performance on viscous oil emulsions. Not in-situ burning It should be emphasized that the proposed technology in no way is similar to traditional in-situ burning. VAST has demonstrated direct combustion of crude oil with no visible plume. The VAST DDI technology is a clean on-site incineration technology with excellent air pollution emission control. VAST DDI utilizes the recovered oil as primary fuel, leaving no heavy oil residues in the treated sea water. The VAST clean combustion technology VAST Wet Combustion™ cools combustion with water instead of excess air. This is not to quench combustion as mankind has done since time immemorial - but to improve temperature control, burning efficiency and to reduce emissions. VASThermogenerators inject thermal diluent, primarily water or steam, upstream, directly into, and around the primary flame zone to control combustion temperatures within critical ranges. VAST Wet Combustion Cycles avoid forming nitrogen oxides (NOX) in the first place by cooling combustion with water and steam, and reducing excess oxygen. A VASThermogenerator is effectively a flash steam boiler where water injected into a hot combustion zone flashes into steam. This produces VASTgas™ that is about half steam and half nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Its important advantages include: 1. Efficient: Increased energy conversion efficiency in small-scale distributed applications. VAST's efficiency is less sensitive to size than most systems. 2. Clean: Cleaner combustion with reduced pollution profiles for NO X, carbon monoxide (CO) and VAST Distributed Direct Incineration Proposal 2/5
  3. 3. unburned hydrocarbon (UHC): VAST's pollution reduction is effective even at small scale. 3. Inexpensive: Lower capital requirements by eliminating catalytic cleanup: a VAST Cycle produces minimal amounts of pollution during combustion. This eliminates post-combustion catalytic cleanup systems to reach ultra-low emission levels of NO X, CO and UHC. 4. Fuel Flexible: VASThermogenerators have been tested on propane, diesel, jet fuel, and wellhead crude. 5. Tolerant of variable fuel quality: in terms of heating value, and moisture content in air and fuel streams. VAST's DDI is designed to handle up to 85% water in emulsions. 6. Independent control of temperature and air: real-time ability to vary either air/fuel ratio or combustion temperature independently of the other. 7. Wide operating range: Each VAST DDI unit is designed to handle from 100% down to 20% of the design incineration rate (a 5:1 range or “turn down ratio”). Each DDI unit can be turned on or off. Thus a system of 4 DDI units is designed to handle from 100% down to 5% of the combined full system incineration capacity (20:1 range in flow rate). VAST has filed 21 patents covering wet combustion, enhanced heavy oil recovery, and related energy systems. Following are highlights of its disruptive paradigm changing technology. Technological capabilities 1. Exceptional combustion range & stability: Stable wet combustion from 750ºC to 1,500ºC (1,382ºF to 2,732ºF) allows VAST DDI to cleanly combust a range of water-oil mixtures or emulsions. This very wide combustion zone allows a wide range of variability in the water-oil mixtures/emulsions being incinerated. Figures 1, 2a, and 2b show a VASThermogenerator™. 2. Tolerant to widely variable water/fuel: Varying water/oil ratios up to 85% water will not cause flameout in a VAST DDI designed with robust control system. It will inject supplemental seawater or fuel into the VASThermogenerator to maintain the temperature within a design range. If too much water is present with the fuel, the VASThermogenerator will inject additional buffer fuel to maintain an acceptable temperature. Conversely, when the recovered oil has little water, more seawater will be injected to cool the combustion into the desired temperature range. Injecting fuel into hot gases between 750ºC and 1,500ºC will rapidly vaporize and ignite injected fuel. Fuel heated to 750ºC (1,382ºF) with excess air is above the ignition point of even heavy crude oil. This ensures combustion stability even with high levels of water or emulsions. 3. High water-fuel ratios: VAST defines the Omega () ratio as the water-to-fuel ratio by mass being combusted in the system. VASThermogenerators operate over a wide range of Omega () ratios. E.g. total water/fuel in combustion from 3.5:1 to 7:1 depending on the desired temperature. VAST's DDI can burn recovered oil having up to 85% water on average. Recovered seawater-oil mixtures are filtered to remove debris. It is the VASThermogenerator's combustion stability with high water/fuel ratios that makes it so suitable to this application. Seawater mixed with crude oil looks like good fuel to a VASThermogenerator. 4. Wide operating and control ranges: VAST's wet combustion operates from 750ºC to 1,500ºC. It can easily tolerate water in recovered oil ranging from 0% to over 85%. The incoming water/oil fraction is monitored. Makeup seawater is added to maintain the overall water/fuel ratio and combustion temperature within prescribed ranges. Backup fuel is used for startup and to buffer any transients having low fuel fractions. Pumping water enables very rapid temperature control for stable operations. 5. Exceptional Temperature Control: Separately pumping water and liquid fuel allows precise control over the quantity of coolant or fuel released into the VASThermogenerator. For example, manual controls achieved local combustion temperature control to within 1ºF in 1997 VAST Distributed Direct Incineration Proposal 3/5
  4. 4. VASThermogenerator tests burning diesel. Computerized control systems will provide robust control over fluctuating water content of recovered oil. Temperature control is important to avoid component failure and to control NOX emissions. NOX is reduced by maintaining combustion temperatures within temperature range, reducing excess oxygen and reducing residency at high temperatures. 6. Adequate residence time: VASThermogenerators preferably operate under ~1,260ºC (2,300ºF) to minimize NOX formation while providing sufficient residence time to fully burn out of all carbon and oxidation of CO into CO2. VAST expects that this DDI application will provide sufficient residence time to handle the long-chained hydrocarbons of heavier oils in tight emulsions. VAST is preparing another patent on its next generation combustion system. This overcomes the challenge of incinerating emulsions of heavy and weathered oil from Gulf to Arctic conditions. 7. Heat to assist recovery: DDI arrays can provide thousands of tons per hour of boiling hot water to reduce viscosity of heavy oil and wax and assist in recovery and pumping. Environmental benefits 1. Ultra Clean: VAST has achieved ultra-low NOX, CO, particulate & CO2 emissions without catalysts in bench-scale burns. VAST has demonstrated sub-ppm NO X & CO (@15% O2) for propane using our proprietary “progressive combustion.” Achieving emissions this low eliminates catalytic post-combustion hot gas treatments. Controlling the progressive delivery of fuel, oxidant, and water combined with controlled expansion rates tailors reaction paths to control combustion temperatures and ultra-clean VASTgas composition. 2. Complete Carbon Combustion: VAST Wet Combustion improves carbon particulate burnout by increasing hydroxyl-mediated combustion. Wet combustion increases hydroxyl ion concentrations, a critical “bottleneck” in combustion reactions. VAST Wet Combustion strongly increases reaction rates, increasing combustion stability and enhancing full carbon burnout while simultaneously lowering both CO and NOX. This enables VAST to burn difficult “fuels of opportunity” while maintaining emission levels. 3. Multi-fuel capable: VAST has demonstrated wet combustion of wellhead crude with no visible plume, as well as on diesel and propane. 4. Quieter, Less Damaging Combustion: VAST Wet Combustion dampens potentially damaging combustor pressure oscillations. This lowers acoustic ambient noise from large scale combustion. VAST markedly reduces component damage due to combustor acoustic coupling fatigue. 5. Heat for enhanced cleanup: Steam can be generated to heat and clean shorelines, work surfaces, heat decks, heat oil and enhance pump transfer etc. 6. Gulf to Arctic: Hot water from incineration can be used to heat oil to reduce viscosity in Gulf operations on to melting thousands of cubic meters of ice per hour as needed in the Arctic. The scope of work In this proposal, VAST is focusing on the combustor (VASThermogenerator) plus the balance of plant equipment needed to form a VAST Distributed Direct Incineration (DDI) module for use in oil spill cleanup. This focus will enhance the benefits of this new paradigm VAST is proposing to give a radically new, more effective and less costly system for oil spill removal. VAST is taking a “retrofit” approach, utilizing existing oil spill response equipment whenever feasible. We seek to work with existing equipment providers for all but the development and testing of the on-site incineration system. VAST's DDI includes the VASThermogenerator, a stand alone control system with remote monitoring and control, the air supply, supplemental fuel and seawater supply and delivery systems, the heat exchanger design for providing supplemental steam or hot VAST Distributed Direct Incineration Proposal 4/5
  5. 5. water, and the exhaust stack design, etc. Incinerator Module: VAST proposes to develop a modular on-site Distributed Direct Incineration (DDI) system. Each Distributed Direct Incineration module will be configured in standard marine shipping containers for ready deployment. Initially, each DDI is nominally sized to incinerate 600 m3/day of oil/water emulsion assuming 35% oil and 65% water processing 61,000 gal/day (1,450 bbl/day) of crude oil. Projecting peak design capacity each DDI is expected to accommodate up to 85% water with 15% oil in the recovered oil for a peak emulsion design flow rate of 1,360 m 3/day. Multiple DDI modules will be used to achieve desired incineration rates. e.g. We expect to achieve a System Capacity of 2400 m3/d oil/water with 4 VAST DDI units nominally sized to incinerate 65% water/35% oil mixtures. This 4 DDI system has a nameplate capacity of 5,448 m 3/day) for Ekofisk blend 2000 emulsions with up to 85% water/15% oil. These incinerate up to 245,000 gal/day (5,800 bbl/day) of spilled crude oil. DDI Incinerators can be located on multiple oil response vessels to improve reliability and speed coverage. Figure 3 shows horizontally oriented modules stacked two high covering 5 m x 12 m. Modules may be oriented vertically covering 5 m x 5 m. See Figure 4. Incineration rates may increase with experience, reducing the number of incinerators required. We assume use of existing oil recovery technologies with nominal 6,500 bbl (1,000 tonne) recovered oil/water emulsion buffer storage per vessel. We assume availability of supplemental fuel storage and seawater buffer tanks. (Alternatively we will design to include those). Those facilities have existing equipment vendors to which we will engineer appropriate interfaces. VAST will design its DDI system to position on deck existing Oil Recovery vessels. Alternatively they may be mounted on a barge. The VAST DDI will be designed for black start operation. It will be capable of remote control and monitoring. VAST's DDI paradigm will strongly reduce or eliminate subsequent process steps conventionally required to control an oil spill. VAST's DDI system will reduce or eliminate most removal, storage, tanker(s) hire, ship-to-ship transfer on spill site, ship-to-shore transfer, further storage and eventual transport to further treatment or incineration. This strong reduction in downstream spill cleanup costs exceeds incremental costs of VAST's DDI, giving net savings. The project team VAST Power Systems, Inc. (VAST) is a late stage start up in wet combustion research and development specializing in pollution control and efficient energy systems for industrial applications. That is what we're good at. VAST is partnering with firms specializing in marine engineering, procurement, construction, and in oil spill recovery. Project Leader & Combustion Engineering: VAST Power Systems, Inc. Oil Spill Response Equipment Engineering: Ro-clean DESMI A/S, Denmark Corporate counterpart and contact person VAST Power Systems, Inc. will form a joint venture “NewCo”, tentatively called VAST Oil Spill Response Systems (VOSRS), after consultation with our JV partner(s). VAST's contact person is: Gary Ginter, Chairman/CEO VAST Power Systems, Inc. Phn +1 (312) 925-4571 5840 West Midway Park Email Gary.Ginter@VASTPowerSystems.com Chicago, Illinois 60644-1803 USA VAST Distributed Direct Incineration Proposal 5/5
  6. 6. VAST Distributed Direct Incineration Proposal 6/5
  7. 7. Figure 1 VASThermogenerator 3-D Cutaway Air injected into the left end flows along the outside wall of the pressure vessel and back inside a radiation shield to mix with water in the air distribution head. Fuel injected into the “fire tube” mixes with the humid air, forming a rich pilot flame. Further humid air is mixed in and around the flame. Water is injected downstream to control combustion temperature and emissions. VAST Distributed Direct Incineration Proposal Supplement Appendix 2/4
  8. 8. Figure 2a VASThermogenerator Fluid Flows Figure 2b VASThermogenerator Flows and Combustion VAST Distributed Direct Incineration Proposal Supplement Appendix 3/4
  9. 9. Figure 3 VAST DDI Systems Horizontally Stacked VAST Distributed Direct Incineration Proposal Supplement Appendix 4/4
  10. 10. Figure 4 VAST DDI Systems Vertically Configured VAST Distributed Direct Incineration Proposal Supplement Appendix 5/4