Petrobras will install UOP’s Separex membrane systems to process natural gas aboard eight new Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels.

The technology will help to remove carbon dioxide, water and contaminants to meet the standards set by pipeline transmission and distribution companies, as well as by natural gas end users.

The new FPSO vessels will be operating in the Lula oil field located in the pre-salt development area of Santos Basin, 250km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Each Separex membrane system is claimed to refine carbon dioxide and water from as much as 6 million standard cubic meters of natural gas per day.

It can be used for onshore or offshore gas processing facilities at the wellheads or at gathering facilities.

UOP gas processing and hydrogen vice president and general manager Rebecca Liebert said, "UOP Separex technology offers high hydrocarbon recovery, a solvent-free process and low operating costs."

The Separex membranes in each system will eliminate the need for solvents, which has the risk of spilling into water and damaging the marine ecosystem.