New Processes Improve Efficiency and Reduce Harmful Waste in Producing Shale Gas

Achievement date: 

Researchers have developed simple and intensified processes for transforming natural gas liquids to liquid fuels and chemicals in a distributed and sustainable manner. The work was supported by the Center for Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources (CISTAR), based at Purdue University and an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC).


More efficient use of shale resources can help meet energy demand while reducing the carbon footprint of energy production. The novel processes developed at the Center are particularly helpful in producing shale resources in remote areas, where large amounts of shale gas are currently burned off.


Flare gas arises from industrial processes that notably include the production of oil and gas and petrochemicals. Plants and refineries often dispose of the unwanted gas by burning it, or flaring, in flames that dance at the top of tall pipes. Flaring is a major source of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.