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Presenter: Sam Miller Technical Credit: Kurt Klavuhn, PhD Product Engineering Manager SpectraSensors 2010
Analytical Solutions for Energy Optimization & Environmental Compliance
The 54th Annual Symposium of the Analysis Division Houston, Texas, USA; 19-23 April 2009


Background Dewpoint Equations Application

Moisture Measurement Units

Molar Fraction (%, ppmv, ppbv, pptv) Weight per volume (lb/mmscf, mg/m3, ppmw)

Normalized to Standard T & P (STP) Dependant on molecular weight

Dewpoint/Frostpoint (F, C)

Dependant on pressure Percent of saturation at a particular T & P (100% RH is fully saturated)

Relative Humidity

Units Molar Ratio

Molar Ratio (%, ppmv, ppbv, pptv)

Molecules per molecule Mole, mass or volume fraction Independent of reference state Used in spectroscopic methods Conversions not necessary with pressure cuts

Units Weight per Volume

Weight per volume

E.g. lb/mmscf, mg/m3, ppmw Dependent on reference state See next slide Molecular weight H2O = 18.01528 g/mole Rules of thumb 1 lb/mmscf = 21.1 ppmv* 1 mg/m3 = 1.32 ppmv*
* Depends on reference state Definition

Common Reference Standards

Conversions depends on definition of STP

Why is weight per volume important?

Industry standard unit of measurement In gas processing: Weight of liquid removed per volume of gas processed Commonly used in glycol contactors and other dehydration processes Commonly used in standards, e.g. ASTM D1142

Units - Dewpoint

Expressed in F or C Dewpoint changes as pressure changes Low pressure suppresses dewpoint

Dewpoint v. Frost Point?

Dewpoint is slightly higher when ice is present


Why is dewpoint important?

Dewpoint is the inherent measurement on some analyzers

For example Chilled Mirror Operational goal: prevent liquid drop out Maintain gas temperature above dewpoint temperature

Dewpoint Measurements

Dewpoint Analyzer
3 Lookup Water Content 1 Pick Dewpoint

2 Pick Pressure

Reverse Conversion?

Some moisture analyzers inherently measure in molar fraction (ppmv) e.g. TDLAS Operations may require dewpoint values Dewpoint reports for corrosion department Equations can be reversed: Concentration Dewpoint Dewpoint Concentration

Pressure Input to Moisture Analyzer

Signal Converter

Pressure Input from Pipeline

Live pressure needed for dewpoint calculation Analog Modbus input Static pressure is an alternative Value from pressure transmitter or RTU/Flow Computer

Moisture Analyzer

Conversion Methods

Arden Buck (HCON) ASTM D1142 equation (1) ASTM D1142 equation (2) ISO 18453

Arden Buck (HCON)

Originally published in 1981 with enhancement factor in 1996 Intended for air in atmospheric sciences Dewpoint and frost point formulas Many saturation vapor pressure equations exist

Goff Gratch equation 1946 Hyland and Wexler 1983 Buck 1981 Sonntag 1994 Magnus Tetens, Bolton, Murphy and Koop, Wagner and Pru,

Comparison to Goff Gratch

Comparison at atmospheric pressure


What about natural gas?

Air (Ideal Gas) Atmospheric Pressures Mostly N2; little change in composition Buck (HCON) Goff Gratch / Sonntag Natural Gas (Compressibility factor < 1) Pressures up to 4000 psi [275 bar] Gas composition affects dewpoint calculation ASTM D1142 ISO 18453

ASTM D1142, 1995-2006

This test method covers the determination of the water vapor content of gaseous fuels by measurement of the dewpoint temperature and the calculation therefrom of the water vapor content. Two equations are given on page 4:



ASTM D1142, 1995-2006

ASTM(1) Expresses the water content (WC) in terms of the weight of saturated water vapor (at reference conditions w is the weight of saturated water vapor (lb/ft3); a lookup table is provided for 0-100F P is the pressure at which the dew point was determined (psia) T is the observed dewpoint temperature Given the water content, the corresponding dew-point temperature can be solved for iteratively.

ASTM D1142, 1995-2006

ASTM(2) Origination: Bukacek; Research Bulletin 8, Institute of Gas Technology, 1955. Modified Raoults law approach where water content of sweet gas is calculated using the ideal expression supplemented by a deviation factor Coefficients A and B listed as a function of temperature in Table 2 for dew-point temperatures ranging from 40F to 440F Given the water content, the corresponding dew-point temperature can be solved for iteratively

ASTM D1142, 1995-2006

Overall Assessment:

ASTM methods are convenient and simple ASTM methods do not take gas composition into account The range of data made available for the specific volume of saturated water vapor (ASTM1) or for the coefficients A and B (ASTM2) is somewhat limited

ISO 18453:2006

Based on study conducted by Groupe Europeen de Recherches Gazieres; GERG TM14 Title: Relationship between Water Content and Water Dew Point keeping in consideration the Gas Composition in the Field of Natural Gas Uses an equation of state (EOS) approach Mole fractions of the components of the gaseous mixture are required - or choose a default mixture see next slide Iterative process complex procedure of equalizing mixture equations; best handled with software Widely accepted in Europe and Middle East

ISO 18453 Uncertainty Analysis

Excerpts from ISO 18453 Pages:
72.5 to 1450 psig

5 to 41F

~0.5-1.0 lb/mmscf depending on pressure

ISO 18453:2006
Experimental gas compositions from GERG TM14

Dewpoint Comparison
Method Comparison using NG1 Composition

72.5 psi

1450 psi

~3 lb/mmscf


Dewpoint Comparison
Method Comparison using NG3 Composition

72.5 psi

1450 psi

~3 lb/mmscf


Dewpoint Comparison
Method Comparison using NG4 Composition

72.5 psi

1450 psi

~3 lb/mmscf


Dewpoint Comparison
Method Comparison using NG7 Composition

72.5 psi

1450 psi

~3 lb/mmscf


Dewpoint Comparison
Comparison of NG1, NG3, NG4 and NG7 Composition
870 psi

~3 lb/mmscf


Dewpoint Comparison
Including Buck (HCON)

(1) (-9F , 3 lb/mmscf)

Dewpoint Example
ASTM eq(2)


ASTM eq(1)

1.5lb/mmscf & 1000 psig Using IGT-8, the dewpoint is -10F Using ISO, the dewpoint is +10F Low Dewpoint estimates can cause condensation

1.5 lb/mmscf (31 ppmv)

>10C disagreement at 1000psi

22 lb/mmscf (459 ppmv)


Buck Research method and ASTM1 agree very well with each other over typical pressure ranges and concentrations The ASTM1 method agrees well with the experimental data at low pressure (5 bar) but deviates significantly at higher pressure (100 bar) ASTM2 method exhibits similar behavior to ASTM1 but with even less agreement with experimental data especially at lower temperatures with the exception of the CO2-rich NG7 mixture at high pressure. Of the three methods discussed, only the ISO method takes into account the actual gas composition. The deviations in dewpoint between NG4 and NG7 at illustrate the importance of accounting for the gas composition, especially when performing calculations with low water content at moderate to high pressure. Dew-point temperatures calculated from water contents were validated to be generally within 2C for pressures 0.5P10MPa and dew-point temperatures 258.15T278.15K

Use inherent analyzer readings if possible TDLAS ppmv Chilled Mirror dewpoint If using dewpoint, consider changes to dewpoint value when pressures are increased or decreased If converting to weight per volume, consider STP standard If converting from dewpoint to concentration or vice versa Consider equation choices Take equation uncertainty into consideration Use conservative method, or Use the most appropriate method for the scenario


summary, for moderate to high water contents at low pressures, all three correlations produce acceptable results. Although somewhat more difficult to implement, the ISO method is arguably the more accurate of the methods (especially for low water contents and high pressures) and provides a great deal more range and flexibility.


Buck, A. L. (1981), "New equations for computing vapor pressure and enhancement factor" Buck (1996), Buck Research Manual ISO-18453 (2004) Standard. Natural Gas Correlation between Water Content and Water Dew Point ASTM-D1142 (1995, Reapproved 2006). Standard Test Method for Water Vapor Content of Gaseous Fuels by Measurement of Dew Point Temperature Bukacek, R. F., Equilibrium Moisture Content of Natural Gases, Research Bulletin 8, Institute of Gas Technology, 1955. Oellrich, L. R. and Althaus, K., Relationship between Water Content and Water Dew Point keeping in consideration the Gas Composition in the Field of Natural Gas, GERG Technical Monograph TM14


For more questions, please contact the Product Line Manager at SpectraSensors Inc. Sam Miller Product Line Manager Natural Gas (909) 979-4677