A little bit more from my trip to the Oklahoma History Center last week.
I graduated from Engineering school back in the 1970’s and took a job with Mobil Oil Corporation at a big oilfield they operated called the West Ranch Field right near the Gulf Coast of Texas. First thing new engineers find out is that when they start work, they don’t know the first thing about how engineering is actually done. You don’t spend time solving equations, you spend your time solving problems or building stuff. There is a lot of technology these days and you don’t learn anything about the technology in school. You learn about it when you start work.
The piece of equipment above is a Kimray Pump by a company called Kimray. And what it does is pumps a liquid from low pressure to high pressure for processes where you need a recirculating liquid, which there are lots such processes in industry. It does not require any additional energy such as electricity or an electric motor or anything else.
So how does that work I wondered. Such a thing is impossible and yes it is. What happens is it used for dehydrating natural gas with a chemical. The chemical gets pumped up to the pressure of the natural gas, mixes with the gas and then is run back through the machine to low pressure, where the liquid is heated up releasing the water vapor, and then cooled off then pumped to high pressure again. The secret is that a small amount of gas is absorbed in the liquid and is also released at low pressure. That small amount of gas going from high pressure to low pressure is what keeps thing going. It took me forever to make sense of it!!
So this is Garman Kimmaell, the guy who invented it. I think he is a genius. How in the world did he figure it out? The Kimray pump is still in use today. There are modifications. For one the gas released is no longer just vented to atmosphere. It contains methane which is a lot worse actor in global warming than carbon dioxide by a factor of 40 to 50 and the process also emits lots of Benzene, Toluene, and Xylene (known as BTX) which are really bad cancer causing agents. So the emitted gases are burned in fuel system for the remainder of the process.
So, I am sure that this is more than what you cared to know. I’m linking with Our World Tuesday, came check it out.