An interview with Dr. Holger Stolpmann, general manager, W.L. Gore & Associates Middle East.
What are the core offerings of W.L. Gore & Associates for the refining and petrochemicals manufacturing industry?
W.L. Gore & Associates offers a full line of panel and cartridge high efficiency (E12 HEPA) air-intake filters that protect gas turbines and air compressors used in refining and petrochemicals manufacturing industry. Expanded PTFE (polytetrafluorethylene) sealants and gaskets are used in aggressive media applications to ensure tight flange connections.
Your filtration technologies claim to separate impurities and other harmful materials efficiently and reliably. Can you give us an example of the application of these technologies in refining and petrochemicals manufacturing industry?
Effective intake air filtration is critical for turbine engines. If sub-micron particles, liquids and dissolved contaminants such as air- and water-borne salts are not captured by filters, they can enter the engine, resulting in compressor fouling and more severe problems like blocked cooling passages, blade erosion and hot gas corrosion. Ultimately, these issues can lead to lower power output, higher fuel consumption and more frequent repairs and replacement of high-value parts. In addition, fouled engines need to be shut down and cleaned, resulting in lost productivity.
What are the latest innovations in membrane filtration solutions from W.L. Gore & Associates?
GORE® Turbine Filters employ a unique media that incorporates a hydrophobic expanded PTFE membrane. The membrane allows the gaseous molecules in the air to pass through the membrane, while at the same time providing a natural barrier to liquid water and contaminants. Recent product innovations include a 24-inch V-panel filter designed for offshore applications that require a high airflow in a smaller filter house.
Can you explain an important change that your solutions have brought in the refining and petro-chemicals manufacturing industry?
Operation of turbines located in wet, sandy and other harsh environments have demonstrated GORE® Turbine Filters’ ability to capture salt, hydrocarbons, and other sub-micron particles, resist moisture, and keep turbines clean. This translates into higher power efficiency, lower maintenance costs and avoidance of costly shutdowns.
Shutdowns for compressor washing could be eliminated and upgrades at single-stage filter houses were achieved by simply changing to GORE HEPA E12 filters without modifications of the filter house.
Can you explain how high-efficiency air intake filters can increase gas turbine availability?
When using GORE HEPA E12 air intake filters, unplanned shutdowns due to compressor fouling and/or turbine parts contamination are minimised, particularly shutdowns for compressor washing can be entirely eliminated. Our membrane media filters are designed for harsh environments and critical engines either in mechanical drive or power generation.
Which are your major clients in the Middle East?
GORE® Turbine Filters are used at numerous desert, industrial area, and close-to-shore turbines in the Middle East. Many major global and local oil and gas companies enjoy the benefits of low differential pressure at HEPA E12 filtration efficiency.