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Cooling o

across an
is a pract
rates, esp

Fig. 5.22
process e
of the sep
from the
which dr
gas mixtu
Water wi


If the res
hydrate t
of natural ga
n expansion v
ure reductio
, the absolute
tical method
available. It
pecially if th
2 is a schema
equipment is
r, which rem
parator, then
gas. Some w
rops the pres
ure occurs. D
ure, a certain
ill also cond
Fig. 5.22Sc
ulting tempe
as can also b
valve. This i
n depends o
e pressures a
d to cool gas
t is also a mo
e gas rates fl
atic drawing
s the expansi
moves the con
n flows throu
water and pe
ure gas stream
sure of the g
Depending o
n amount of
dense to the e
chematic dr
erature of th
at the operat
ule Thom
be achieved b
is a constant
n the pressu
and the starti
and extract h
ore practical
of a typical
ion valve or
ndensed wat
ugh a heat ex
rhaps some
m. The high-
gas to the de
on the gas co
f the mixture
equilibrium w
rawing of Jo
e gas after th
ting pressure
mson Ex
by expandin
t enthalpy pr
ure ratio of in
ing temperat
process than
J oule-Thom
choke. The
ter and any l
xchanger, ex
-pressure ga
sign pressur
omposition a
will conden
water conten
he heat exch
e, hydrates fo
g high press
rocess, and th
nitial pressur
ture, as well
n liquids if th
n the turbo-e
mson expansi
iquid hydroc
xchanging he
n will conden
s then flows
re. Simultane
and the press
nse and form
nt of the gas
son expansio
hanger or upo
form unless t
sure gas to a
he amount o
re divided by
as the gas c
here is a lot
expander pro
ion process.
re gas enters
carbons. The
eat with the c
nse in the he
s through the
eously, a red
sure and tem
m a liquid hyd
at the final p
on equipme
on expansion
the gas has b
lower pressu
of the
y the final
of "free"
ocess for low
The main
s through an
e gas stream
cooled, low-
eat exchange
e expansion v
duction in
mperature of t
drocarbon st
pressure and
n is below th
been dehydra
w gas
s out

To avoid the formation of hydrates in water saturated gas, a chemical hydrate inhibitor is added
to the gas stream ahead of the heat exchanger. The chemical usually used to depress the hydrate
temperature is ethylene glycol, but diethylene glycol can also be used. Fig. 5.22 shows the flow
of the glycol and includes a reconcentration step. Ethylene glycol is usually regenerated to a lean
concentration of about 75 or 80% by weight and is circulated at a rate such that the resulting final
glycol concentration is sufficient to depress the hydrate forming temperature to about 5F below
the hydrate temperature of the gas at the final pressure. The required lean glycol circulation rate
is determined by the Hammerschmidt equation (see the chapter on Phase Behavior of
Water/Hydrocarbon Systems in the General Engineering volume of this Handbook) and depends
on the water content of the gas, the concentration of the lean glycol, and the necessary hydrate
temperature depression.

A bypass line around the heat exchanger on the cold gas out of the low temperature separator
allows for the control of the degree of cooling of the process gas. To aid the separation between
the cold condensate and glycol, a heater can be included in the equipment. After heating, the
liquids are flowed into a three-phase separator, where the small amount of gas, the condensate,
and the rich glycol are separated. The glycol is then reconcentrated with a conventional reboiler
and still and is re-injected into the process gas stream.