In 2008, Strata Technology successfully completed and commissioned the first commercial HyPy Rig in partnership with The University of Nottingham.
The University of Nottingham sought to develop their research into a commercially viable product and approached Strata because of our expertise in the safe design and engineering of research equipment.
Hydropyrolysis is an analytical pyrolysis technique developed at The University of Nottingham by Professor Colin Snape and his fellow collaborators that, compared to normal pyrolysis procedures, gives rise to much higher yields of hydrocarbons with much better structural preservation. These attributes have enabled the technique to be applied to solve a number of problems in petroleum exploration where conventional analysis fails.
Due to the hazards of working with such techniques (5 Nl/min of pure Hydrogen with a reactor pressure of 150 barG), we employed a detailed Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) analysis during the initial design phase. Electrical safety concepts helped define a robust alarm system that trips the unit if it strays beyond design parameters. ATEX and EMC were other issues that were considered and addressed.
Strata adopted a unique phased approached to develop the HyPy unit. As part of the design phase we used solid modelling techniques. These were an indispensable aid when communicating with Professor Snape and his team, ensuring they were kept firmly in control throughout the development process.
The role of Strata in the development of the technique has been crucial in not only producing a high quality compact instrument that is easy to operate for the non-specialist but in doing the development so quickly.
This will contribute enormously to HyPy being adopted worldwide as the technique of choice for solving a number of analytical problems at a pace that could not have been envisaged two years ago. It’s been a very good project, delivered in cost and on time.
Professor Colin Snape
University of Nottingham
To see how Strata’s HyPy Rig has been used, download a copy of “Direct evidence from hydropyrolysis for the retention of long alkyl moieties in black carbon fractions isolated by acidified dichromate oxidation” from the Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis.