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TRACE

COMPONENT
REMOVAL

What is trace component removal


TCR involve the removal of components
from a stream by mean of distillation
and/or adsorption/absorption for removing
trace amount of component from either the
gas or liquid
The trace component natural gas include:
Hyrogen, Oxygen, Radon (NORM),
Arsenic,
Helium, Mercury, and BTEX,
etc.

Oxygen
Why do we remove oxygen from the gas
stream
Increase in pipeline corrosion
Degradation of process chemicals; amine
The present of O2 may exceed stringent
pipeline specification
Possible abandonment if not controlled, hence
lead to waste of valuable resources
How do we remove O2
There are several technology could be utilized
to remove the 02
Such as catalyst, membranes, and scavengers

Catalyst
Use to convert the oxygen to inert gas, by mean
contacting oxygen containing natural gas with e.g,
nitric oxide under conditions sufficient to produce
nitrogen dioxide
Operate reliable economical flexible
The problem is the addition of inert gas, which could
push gas out of pipeline.
Membrane
Make use of membrane separation unit so as to
separate oxygen from feed stream
Only permitting a size molecular of methane to pass
through to flow to the stream while oxygen is blocked
and flow to the waste stream
produce a first product stream enriched with methane
and a waste stream having a high molecular
concentration of oxygen than feed stream

Scavengers
Make use of noble metals, such as
platinum or palladium to convert the
oxygen to carbon dioxide and water
This oxygen scavenging is conducted
after the removal of sulfur compound
since most adsorbent for oxygen
removal are poisoned by many sulfur
containing compound
The operation is reliable however
cost can be high

MERCURY

Varying level worldwide (0 to 300 g/sm3)


Low vaporizing temperature (64 oF to 79 oF)
Amalgamate (alloy formation)
Reason of removal
Corrosion on down stream heat exchanger
Mechanical failure due to
Mercury vapor that corrode pipelines and valves.

Catalyst poising problem in the process plant


Environmental pollution
Health effect

Mood changes
Memory loss
Fine shaking
Tingling
Kidney disease

Detection method
Colorimetric analysis
Cold vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometry
Amalgamation collection.
Conventional mercury removal
Adsorption on activated carbon
React with sulfur to form mercuric sulfide
Drawback
No commercial use of produced product
disposes can only by combustion.

Adsorption on sulfur impregnated carbon ( chemi-sorption)


Loss of mercury due to sublimation and dissolution in hydrocarbon
Operators health problems

Amalgamation with valuable metal (silver)


Effective removal and potential of regeneration of silver
Not suit with the presence of H2S

Factor affecting mercury removal efficiency


Composition of gas
Presence of higher hydrocarbon
Operating temperature and pressure
Activated carbon characteristic
Concentration of mercury vapor
Presence of water
Gas flow rate
Contact time

BTEX

Danger
Human carcinogen that promote leukemia
Reproduction and development effect
effect blood, kidney and liver
Respiratory and cardiovascular problems
due to effect on central nervous systems
In gas processing
Pollute toward environments
Potential freezing in cryogenic units.

Conventional removal
Incinerated at elevated temperature.
Produce CO2
1000 1500 oF
Costly

solution approach
Adjustment of plant operating conditions to minimize the quantity of BTEX in the
glycol absorber off gas.
Temperature of rich amine
High temperature lead to lower absorption.
Pressure of contactor column
Circulation rate type of amine
Lower circulation rate, lower absorption
Amine concentration
Low concentration, low absorption

Burning of the still of gases before venting


Condensation of the off gases and recovery of BTEX as a liquid
Adsorption of the BTEX on a carbon adsorbent.

Use of water
High solubility of benzene in water
Assume BTEX as purely benzene
High flow rate of water needed (doubled)
Need addition of adsorbent to separate BTEX from water.
Prior for recycling or reuse of water

Methane loss due methane solubility


Activated carbon
Readily available
Low cost
Replaced after 2 run cycle
Low regeneration ability

Silica aerogel (adsorbent)


Become cheaper in production
High proximity toward aromatic compounds.
Can be use up to 14 cycles.
Hydrophobic (repel water)
Less adsorption toward methane
Much cost effective when placed at the back of the unit

Hydrogen contain only in small concentration normally


do not cause problem
Radon ( NORM ) - Low concentration not harmful
Arsenic can successfully removed using adsorption
process
Helium very valuable product
Low concentration (less than 5%)
Directly recovered after gas processing and further purified at other
processing plant.