SKF recently announced the inclusion of SKF sour gas compressor bearings into the SKF BeyondZero portfolio. The bearings significantly extend maintenance intervals on compressors used to recover gas vapor. Proven to withstand regular exposure to sour gas and other harsh process gas compressor conditions, the SKF bearings can deliver up to ten times the service life of conventional bearings.
“SKF sour gas compressor bearings meet the urgent need to improve efficiency in this kind of compressor. The sour gas compressor bearings will dramatically cut maintenance costs for operators and make a great contribution to the environment by increasing compressor availability and preventing the escape of gas vapour,” says Lars Kahlman, senior application specialist, SKF Global Segment Fluid.
Every year, the oil and gas industry “flares”, or vents, an estimated 150 billion cubic meters of waste gases. This emits approximately 400 million tons of CO2, or about 1.2 percent of all annual global CO2 emissions. Much of this flared gas can now be captured by vapour recovery units or re-injected but because existing compressor bearings wear out and fail in as little as six months, too much gas is going unrecovered while maintenance is carried out. As an example, a compressor equipped with ten SKF bearings of this kind can save up to 670 tonnes of CO2e per year or up to 8000 tonnes during the lifetime of the compressor.
The maintenance intervals are minimised by SKF sour gas compressor bearings, which feature several high performance materials, including a new generation of hard, ultraclean, high-nitrogen steel. These bearings offer a high degree of impact toughness, high fatigue resistance and superior corrosion resistance to sour gas (H2S), condensing water and acid gases (CO2) and other agents that cause conventional bearing raceways and rolling elements to flake.