By Kasia McBride, Marketing Manager, NGVi
Recently, NGVi had the chance to sit down with Kurt Sorschak, President and CEO of Xebec Adsorption Inc. An NGVi sponsor, Xebec Adsorption Inc. is a global provider of clean energy solutions to corporations and governments looking to reduce their carbon footprints. Xebec designs and builds biogas upgrading plants for landfill gas, waste water treatment and manufactures natural gas dryers for the natural gas vehicle (NGV) market.
Can you share a little about Xebec? Your company background, history, and what your primary target market in North America is?
Xebec was founded in 1965, and has 40 years’ experience designing and manufacturing equipment for the purification, dehydration and filtration of gases. Xebec’s four main product segments are: Natural Gas Dryers for NGV refueling stations, Biogas Plants for the purification of biogas from agricultural digesters, landfill sites and waste water treatment plants, Hydrogen Purification Systems for steam methane reformers, refinery off-gases and other sources, and Associated or Field Gas Purification Systems that purify wellhead gas to certain specifications so that the gas can be used to displace diesel engines with natural gas engines at drilling sites.
Are there any new announcements you would like to share?
First, Xebec is launching at ACT Expo in May, a new range of filtration products, the X-Series, which has been specifically designed for natural gas applications and will complement our current filtration offerings. There are three new filter lines which will accommodate pressure ranges up to 290 psig, 725 psig and 6000 psig (20, 50 and 420 bar). The range comes with seven different element grades for coalescing and particulate filtration of natural gas. We will also offer a range of adsorbent-filled filter elements for VOC removal, as well as an optimized range of accessories.
At Xebec, we pride ourselves in exceptional customer service, so our goal with the new line is not only to supply a great product, but to give our customers the best service and highest technical support possible. This means direct, live technical support, an easy ordering system and stock ready to ship.
Second, we have just recently announced the opening of Xebec USA in Houston, TX and have appointed two senior executives to lead the effort.
Mr. Parag Jhonsa joins Xebec as President of Xebec Adsorption USA and Mr. Gary Blizzardwill fill the role of Vice President for Sales and Process Engineering. Both Parag and Gary have vast experience in the energy industry and we are very excited to have them on board. We have been planning to open an office in the U.S. for the past several years, but have not been able to find the right partners until now. Having a dedicated office in Houston will enable Xebec to serve our U.S. customers better than ever.
What are your main natural gas-related products and services and what sets them apart from your competitors?
Our main natural gas products are our NGX line of natural gas dryers for CNG fueling stations and our new X-Series line of gas filtration products.
I believe what really sets us apart from the competition is the excellent support and service we provide our customers. Delivering a quality product at a good price is a given. Customers need fast lead times, on time delivery and most importantly solid technical support when selecting a gas dryer for their station or identifying the right filter product. Choosing the right filter and the right media for a particular gas application can be complicated. Having a technical representative you can talk to is essential in providing excellent service.
Does Xebec recommend that customers specify a dew-point monitor when ordering a natural gas dryer?
Yes, Xebec deems this feature as an essential part of a NGV dryer, regardless of the model. The dew-point monitor will determine when the desiccant needs to be replaced (non-regenerative dryer) or regenerated.
Is every Xebec dryer sold into the United States NGV market a custom-sized and designed dryer? What are the specific design parameters (flow, pressure, water content, etc.) used to size the dryer?
The minimum required parameters to size a particular application are flow, pressure, water content, temperature, and location of the installation. Unless otherwise given, we use the relatively standard pipeline water content of 7lbs H2O per MMSCF and 70ﾟF as the temperature. The location of the installation will determine whether freezing will occur and if a cold weather package needs to be quoted for the dryer. Xebec offers a standard line of dryers from 6” to 36” vessel diameter covering 150 through 300 psig. Xebec can build custom gas dryers up to 72” vessel diameter and 1200 psig.
Are dryers sized to the actual recorded moisture content of the natural gas, or are they all designed assuming 7lbs/MMSCF?
Unless the customer lists the actual water content, Xebec assumes 7lbs/MMSCF.
Does Xebec generally inform its customers regarding the frequency of dryer regeneration?
Xebec always lists the number of hours required between regeneration. This information is essential, as some stations have differing duty cycles (8, 12, 16 or 24 hours per day)
If a customer does not order a dew-point-monitor for their dryer, does Xebec recommend a regeneration frequency?
Yes, either a desiccant change out, or a regeneration frequency.
What is your perspective on the growth of natural gas vehicle usage in North America?
All of the reports I have been seeing predict a 20 to 25% increase in the NGV market in the U.S. and this shows no sign of stopping. It is encouraging to see that the market has finally taken off in the U.S.
What changes/opportunities do you foresee associated with increasing demand for CNG fueling stations?
I think the most exciting change we see is all of the new players in the industry. It is great to see so many new companies committed to natural gas as a transportation fuel and committed to a cleaner environment.
Do you plan to attend ACT Expo 2014? If so, what is your booth number?
Xebec will be at ACT Expo with a brand new booth and we are very excited about launching the X-Series and receiving customer feedback. Our booth number is 757.