№ 5 (May 2008)
Gubkin Oil&Gas University Summarized the Results of the First Contest of Young Specialists’ Projects
Last spring, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas started an experiment – the first contest of initiative projects of young specialists, which was aimed at stimulation of the development of applied sciences within the University framework (see OGE, Issue No. 7, 2007, page 32-38)
The contest prize fund provided by Chuda Ltd was distributed among five projects of 35 ones selected by the expert commission, as characterized by the unique proposed solutions and meeting the needs of the oil-and-gas sector to the highest degree not only in Russia, but world-wide as well. A year later, the experts evaluated the results of the work done by the young scientists and were pleased to note that the attempt to establish a link between the science and business appeared to be successful.
For example, during this time the contest winners proved their splendid results having won also in the tenders for conclusion of the several state contracts in the framework of the Federal Target Program “Research and Development of the Priority Areas of Scientific and Technical Complex of Russia in the Period of 2007-2012”. Thus, in 2007 a contract on the subject “Technologies for Production of Fuel and Energy of Organic Raw Materials” was successfully prepared and presented, with the estimated budget funding in the amount of 1.2 million rubles. Work on two other state contracts is being carried out: “Study of Methods for Hydrogenous Gas Production by Hydrocarbon Raw Stock Conversion, and Development of Scientific and Technical Groundwork for a New Effective Technology for Production of High-purity Hydrogen 99.9 Volumetric Percent in Catalytic Reactors of Radial-helical Type” (period of realization – 2007-2008, amount of financing is 6 million rubles), “Development of Scientific and Technical Groundwork for Non-Traditional Technologies for Hydrogen Production of Organic Raw Materials and Water” (period of realization – 2007–2008, amount of financing is 12 million rubles). We would like to remind our readers that the project applied by Eugeny Ivanov and Pavel Gutshin is related to development of plasmo-chemical modular units for natural and associated petroleum gas processing into synthetic gas, hydrogen and liquid hydrocarbon fuel. Just this study (interest to which from the side of the companies can be confirmed by the telephone calls to the OGE editorial office) has received a special Cherskoy prize at the Seventh All-Russian Conference of young researchers, specialists and students on the issues of the oil and gas sector “New Technologies in the Gas Sector”. Gutshin and Ivanov managed to represent the results of their studies in a number of publications in the journal of the State Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles “Science and Engineering” and digest of IRTs Gasprom (Regional Information Center of Gasprom) during the last two years.
“In the energy sector of the future, the most important part is assigned to hydrogen which is pure CO2 – neutral energy source. It can be used directly for electric power generation with the help of fuel cells at transport and for decentralized electric power generation at the stationary systems of power supply,” as the winners say, this explains the interest shown to the project both by the state and the companies.
At present, the authors have developed a research technique for hydrogen production from water and organic raw stock, which consists of two stages. To produce 12.9 cu. m/hour of high-purity hydrogen by this technology, it is necessary to supply 6 cu. m/hour of methane and 4 cu. m/hour of carbon dioxide. The young scientists also simulated and generated a mathematical model of the process; they performed patent research, and developed a technical documentation for a demonstration copy of the hydrogen production system providing 10 cu. m/hour of hydrogen having 99.98 percent purity. When hydrogen is produced in catalytic reactors of radial-helical type at commercial units of low capacity (1-10 kg/hour), according to the estimates done, its cost will not exceed 50-60 rubles per 1 kg of hydrogen. This technology can be equally efficiently used by private consumers and the city authorities.
Andrei Konovalov, assistant professor of the department “Wear Resistance of Machines and Equipment”, has been working on development of the method for improvement of wear resistance of brake assemblies by application of bimetallic materials for several years already. The essence of the new approach is in modification of the design of the brake assembly disk element by its manufacturing of materials having various thermo-physical characteristics. Bimetallic surface layer is created in the brake disk, this layer being a pattern of wear-resistant working surface and sub-surface heat-removing insert, which acts as a cooler. In the course of the researches, it was determined that application of the proposed approach will enable reduction of wear of the brake disk contact surface 1.5-1.7 times, with reduction of the friction zone temperature 1.3 times. After the patent analysis of the existing inventions in the area of improvement of the braking system efficiency, an application was filed for the patent “Bimetallic Disk”. In the future, the author plans to carry out studies aimed at determination of friction factor in bimetallic brake disks, and also perform an analysis of application of a wide range of materials for formation of heat-removing layers in bimetallic materials.
The project “Development of the Method for Automated Adaptation of Hydrodynamic Models” set and solved the problem of evaluation of permeability of near-wellbore layers of stratified heterogeneous bed taking into account probabilistic statistical character of the poro-perm parameters. Authors of the project Petr Pyatibratov and Alexander Yermolayev developed a method of automated adaptation of hydrodynamic models by search of permeability values of the near-wellbore zones, which is based on interaction of filtration and optimization models.
For realization of the project “Technology for Cleaning of the Near-Wellbore Zone of the Formation by Joint Hydro-pulse and Vibroseismic Action”, an experimental unit designed by the field development department was used. The vital difference of the developed technology for the near-wellbore zone cleaning from the existing analogs is in joint use of low-frequency seismic actions directly on the matrix solid material and hydraulic pulsations which directly affect the fluid moving in the formation. In the course of the project realization, the authors performed an analysis of the existing literature on the issue, field experience and experimental relationships, and studied both separate and joint effect of the mentioned actions on the process of withdrawal of clay particles.
As Oksana Elagina, professor, deputy chairman of the contest commission, noted “The work has passed from the stage of the laboratory experiments to the full-scale ones. Full-scale experiment is an extremely complicated issue, as fabrication of a full-size unit is a difficult task, usually low-funded. As a rule, the customer wants to get completely ready hardware right away.”
Of the five projects which won in the contest, perhaps, only one will have no further development within the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas: Pavel Ponomarenko, the author of the second-best project “Geological Modeling of the Structure of Void Space of Carbonate Reservoirs during Development of Hard-to-Recover Oil Reserves” left his position at the University. However, the results achieved in the framework of other projects-winners in the last year, make it possible to hope for implementation of the scientific achievements at the fields of the country. Late in May, the successful experiment will be continued in the form of the second contest, in which, alongside with the projects selected in 2007, new ones will make themselves known. Advanced achievements of the Russian research work can bring benefit to the oil sector. It is interesting to know, what companies will support the domestic university science this time?