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Hybrid Solvent Helps Ease Bottlenecking in Natural-Gas Plant

Fig. 1—Hydrocarbon solubility in hybrid solvents.

Processing sour natural gas is a challenge. If mercaptans are present in the sour gas, the limited mercaptan-absorption capacity of the well-known alkanolamine solvents can be a problem. A solution is to replace the usual alkanolamine aqueous solvent with a hybrid formulation that allows simultaneous removal of mercaptans and acid gases. A new solvent has been developed by the addition of a physical component into a generic alkanolamine/water solvent. This hybrid solvent can be used without any plant modification.

Introduction

More than 40% of identified gas reserves contain acid gases. Over the years, solvent technologies have been developed, demonstrated, and improved for hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2) removal.

Sour-gas processing has recently seen the requirement of more-stringent specifications for total sulfur compounds, particularly mercaptans and carbonyl sulfide. Producing sour-gas fields in an economic way became a challenge. Indeed, the physicochemical properties of mercaptans allow only very limited reaction with amines under operating conditions. Classical aqueous amine technologies generally are not sufficient to reach mercaptan or total-sulfur specifications. Consequently, additional treatment is required to remove these compounds.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 188252, “Natural-Gas-Plant Debottlenecking Thanks to Hybrid Solvent,” by Eric Cloarec, Renaud Cadours, and Claire Weiss, Total, prepared for the 2017 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Abu Dhabi, 13–16 November. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Hybrid Solvent Helps Ease Bottlenecking in Natural-Gas Plant

01 April 2018

Volume: 70 | Issue: 4

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