Wärtsilä GasReformer

The Wärtsilä GasReformer enables the utilisation of gaseous side streams 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 or stranded gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), LPG, boil-off gases (BOGs) or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) recovered from oil and gas industry.

    Technical data

    The technology is based on steam reforming (SR), a catalytic process known from the petrochemical industry, where traditionally hydrogen is produced from various hydrocarbon feeds. The Wärtsilä GasReformer exploits the same catalytic process but operates under more moderate 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). 

     Product specification
    Pressure (design) 7–10 (11) barg
    Temperature (design) 300-450 (500) °C
    Feed gas 165-190 g/kWh
    Product gas 195-260 g/kWh
    Steam demand 200-250 g/kWh
         of which recycled water 170 g/kWh
         of which fresh water 50-80 g/kWh
    Cooling demand 360-720 kJ/kWh
    Electric heater demand 36-54 kJ/kWh
    Nitrogen consumption start-up (flushing) 1 (5) Nm3
    Dimensions (mm) and weights (tonnes)
    GasReformer capacity Application Consists of Footprint (L x W) Height Weight
    4 MW (NMHC) Marine / Shuttle tankers 2 modules 7175 x 4150 4600 25
    10 MW (APG) Offshore / Onshore 2 containers 6058 x 4876 2896 30
    NMHC = Non-methane hydrocarbons, APG = associated petroleum gas


    The main application area is in offshore oil and gas production, but also shuttle tankers or very large gas carriers (VLGCs) with high rates of BOG as well as onshore applications with degraded gas quality are seen 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. In 2016 for the first time liquefied VOCs of a shuttle tanker were converted with a 1 MW GasReformer into natural gas powering a Wärtsilä 6L20DF engine at the test facilities in Bermeo, Spain.

    The Wärtsilä GasReformer being tested at Wärtsilä's test facilities in Bermeo, Spain.

    The Wärtsilä GasReformer being tested at Wärtsilä's test facilities in Bermeo, Spain (2)
    The Wärtsilä GasReformer being tested at Wärtsilä's test facilities in Bermeo, Spain
    Key benefits
    • Reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions
    • Flared and vented gases 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, causing 400 million tons of CO2 in annual emissions, not to mention the valuable resources that go to waste. When considering the vented BOGs and VOCs from the marine industry, the overall GHG effect becomes even stronger.

    With the Wärtsilä GasReformer, this undesired gas can be reliably and efficiently utilised by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines. When utilising associated gas or recovered BOG from tankers or gas carriers as a reliable source of energy, the operator can achieve self-sufficiency in terms of energy supply and thus the need for fuel bunkering or BOG reliquefactions, both costly operations, decreases. With a Wärtsilä 10 MW GasReformer combined with a DF engine, the operator can reduce the need for bunkered fuel oil by 39 TPD and reduce flaring by more than 1.1 MMSCFD which equals to >100 TPD CO2eq. Where VOCs are usually vented, GHG emissions are reduced by 10.6 TPD CO2eq per ton recovered VOC.

    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.


    Fuel gas quality control for gas mode operations

    Reetta Kaila
    Product Manager, GasReformer

    ’Fuel Gas Quality Control for Gas Mode Operations’
    Methane Number

    Related press releases


    A gas reforming solution

    During the summer of 2016, Wärtsilä Flow and Gas installed a 1 MW Pilot GasReformer in Bermeo, Spain...
    19 January 2017
    • Twentyfour7. article

    Gas Reforming Creates Fuel From Waste

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

    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.
    16 May 2013
    • In Detail article

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