Wärtsilä GasReformer

This solution makes it possible to utilise gaseous fuels that either contain large amounts of heavier hydrocarbons or vary in their composition. Gases that were previously considered as waste can now be converted into a valuable resource of energy.

Together with Wärtsilä dual-fuel (DF) engines, this is the most efficient and flexible solution for utilising associated gas, stranded gas, natural gas liquids, LPG or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or off-spec gases recovered from oil and gas industry.

    Technical data

    The technology is based on steam reforming (SR), a catalytic process known from the petrochemical industry and refineries, where traditionally hydrogen is produced from various hydrocarbon feeds. The Wärtsilä GasReformer exploits the same catalytic process but operates under different conditions. In the Wärtsilä GasReformer the methane number (MN) of any fuel gas is improved up to 100 ± 5 by converting the heavier hydrocarbons to synthesis gas (H2 + CO) and finally to methane (CH4). 


    The main application area is in offshore oil and gas production, but also power plant and other onshore applications are potential. Wärtsilä GasReformer has been developed and designed to meet the standards of the offshore industry and is the first of its kind in the world. Wärtsilä GasReformer received the Approval in Principle from DNV-GL for Shuttle Tankers (marine) in 2015.

    Key benefits
    • Reduction of CO2 and VOC emissions
    • Flare gas and vented VOCs can be utilised for power production
    • No need for flaring
    • Reduced fuel consumption, storage and fuel bunkering
    • Low NOX emissions from proven dual-fuel engines
    • Dual-fuel engines can operate at full load and efficiency
    • Operator can change gas source during operation
    • Decreased carbon footprint for operating company

    Environmental excellence

    Offshore gas flaring is increasingly recognised as a major environmental problem, causes 400 million tons of CO2 in annual emissions, not to mention the valuable resources that go to waste.

    The associated gas, separated from crude oil, is traditionally flared and not utilised because it varies in composition, and contains a lot of heavier hydrocarbons. Generally it is considered as waste or an unreliable source of energy.

    With the Wärtsilä GasReformer, this undesired gas can be reliably and efficiently utilised by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines. When utilising associated gas or recovered VOCs from tankers as a reliable source of energy, the operator can achieve self-sufficiency in terms of energy supply and thus the need for fuel bunkering, a costly operation in offshore locations, decreases. With a Wärtsilä 10 MW APG GasReformer combined with a DF engine, the operator can reduce the need for bunkered fuel oil by around 35–39 tons per day and the system produces electricity with an overall efficiency of up to 44.5%. 

    Methane Number

    Wärtsilä Methane Number Calculator

    We have developed this tool for ship owners and operators to calculate the Methane Number of the fuel gas.
    The calculation result indicates whether or not the given gas quality is suitable for use in Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines.

    Methane CH4
    Iso-butane (2-Methylpropane)i-C4H10
    Iso-pentane (2-Methylbutane)i-C5H12
    Neo-pentane (2,2-Dimethylpropane) neo-C5H12
    Mix-hexaneMix C6H14
    Mix-heptaneMix C7H16
    Carbondioxide C02
    Nitrogen N2
    Hydrogen sulfideH2S
    Total mol%
    Wärtsilä Methane number (WMN)
    Propane Knock Index (PKI)
    The calculation tool is owned by Wärtsilä and is made for customer use and is for guidance only. Changes in the tool is reserved at any time.

    Related press releases


    Converting low quality gas into a valuable power source

    The Wärtsilä GasReformer utilizes low quality gases that contain large amounts of heavier hydrocarbons, or that vary in their composition, to produce a valuable energy resource.
    17 May 2013
    • In Detail article

    Gas Reforming Creates Fuel From Waste

    Oil produced from offshore fields always contains associated gas, mainly consisting...
    28 May 2013
    • Twentyfour7. article


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