LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS

Overview:
Liquefied petroleum gas (also called LPG or liquid propane gas) is a flammable mixture of hydrocarbon gases used as a fuel in heating appliances and vehicles. It is increasingly used as an aerosol propellant and a refrigerant, replacing chlorofluorocarbons in an effort to reduce damage to the ozone layer. When specifically used as a vehicle fuel it is often referred to as autogas. Varieties of LPG bought and sold include mixes that are primarily propane (C3H8), primarily butane (C4H10) and, most commonly, mixes including both propane and butane, depending on the season in winter more propane, in summer more butane. Propylene and butylenes are usually also present in small concentration. A powerful odorant, ethanethiol, is added so that leaks can be detected easily. In the United States, thiophene oramyl mercaptan are also approved odorants. LPG is synthesized by refining petroleum or "wet" natural gas, and is usually derived from fossil fuel sources, being manufactured during the refining of crude oil, or extracted from oil or gas streams as they emerge from the ground. It was first produced in 1910 by Dr. Walter Snelling, and the first commercial products appeared in 1912. It currently provides about 3% of the energy consumed, and burns cleanly with no soot and very few sulfur emissions, posing no ground or water pollution hazards. LPG has a typical specific calorific value of 46.1 MJ/kg compared with 42.5 MJ/kg for fuel-oil and 43.5 MJ/kg for premium grade petrol (gasoline). However, its energy density per volume unit of 26 MJ/l is lower than either that of petrol or fuel-oil. LPG evaporates quickly at normal temperatures and pressures and is supplied in pressurized steel cylinders. They are typically filled to between 80% and 85% of their capacity to allow for thermal expansion of the contained liquid. The ratio between the volumes of the vaporized gas and the liquefied gas varies depending on composition, pressure, and temperature, but is typically around 250:1. The pressure at which LPG becomes liquid, called its vapour pressure, likewise varies depending on composition and temperature; for example, it is approximately 220 kilopascals (2.2 bar) for pure butane at 20 °C (68 °F), and approximately 2.2 megapascals (22 bar) (319 psi) for pure propane at 55 °C (131 °F). LPG is heavier than air, and thus will flow along floors and tend to settle in low spots, such as basements. This can cause ignition or suffocation hazards if not dealt with.

History: LPG was a late developer in the oil and gas business. The 1980's in fact turned out to be a period of tremendous LPG export expansion worldwide. had been from the US Gulf to South America. Walter Snelling. Dr. in 1938. The first regional trade. and Venezuela were also new sources of supply.from a total of 6 million tons of installed capacity in 1975 to 17 million tons by 1980 and 30 million tons by 1985. the United States. one problem faced was that gasoline quickly evaporated when in storage. The oil crisis of 1973 was a turning point. In 1911. The extensive use of LPG did not really develop until the 1940's through the 1960's. . But developments then were cut off by the war. Indonesia. Europe. with each region having its own pricing structure. Producers needed buyers. Many oil rich countries built liquids recovery plants as they realized that the exports of LPG could generate a significant monetary return. Growth proceeded at the pace of refinery availabilities. Algeria. Australia. In the early production of gasoline. the North Sea. The new export volumes had to find outlets somewhere. near Venice. A large oil company introduced LPG to France in the mid 1930's. particularly in the 1960's. and 11 million tons in 1970. 3 million tons in 1960. The LPG market became truly global at this time. as new refineries were built and fuel oil displaced coal as the industrial fuel. The first commercial production of LPG had to wait until the 1920's. starting in the 1950's. Europe-wide LPG sales increased from 300. shipping. LPG in international trade had been essentially a regional business.000 tons in 1950. And a large gas company built a bottling plant in Italy. The history of LPG can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th Century. Prior to the 1970's. The expansion of Middle East LPG capacity which occurred over the 1975-1985 decade was truly staggering . an American chemist. while the first regional trade until the 1950's. whether they be in Asia. identified that the propane and butane within gasoline caused its evaporation. By the early 1950's. These expanded. companies were producing LPG cylinders for household use and these were being marketed elsewhere under license. He soon developed a practical method of removing these gases from the gasoline. It was not only in the Middle East that LPG plants were being built. and buyers and sellers. or South America.

The approximate minimum ignition temperature of LPG is in the range 410oC to 580oC. Vapour LPG is twice as heavy as Air. LPG is odourless. Ethyl Mercaptan is added as an odourant to detect LPG in case of leaks. if present in sufficiently high concentrations. burners have a longer life . LPG is non-toxic.8 to 9. Flash point of LPG is -76oF.free emissions Very high efficiency with direct firing system Instant heat for faster warm-up and cool-down Can be used for a variety of applications .5% in air. with minimal sulphur content and sulphur.so maintenance is low No spillage as it vaporises at atmospheric temperature and pressure. LPG has a low boiling point of -18oC. LPG has a narrow flammability range between 1. It is lightly anaesthetic and can cause suffocation. Effects of corrosion are greatly reduced Instantly controllable flame temperature Avoids Scaling and decarborising of parts Environmentally friendly fuel. Liquid LPG is half as heavy as water. LPG is colorless. Liquid LPG can cause severe cold burns to the skin owing to rapid vapourisation and the consequent lowering of temperature Advantages of LPG y y y y y y y y y Clean Burning No soot.LPG Properties y y y y y y y y y y y y LPG is a liquid under pressure but a gas at ambient conditions.

Typical LPG Specification .

The water is filtered through a biological treatment system before being discharged to the sea. This is done in the absorption column. Dehydration the gas is saturated with water. so this substance is removed. with the light oil being sent to another separator and the gas continuing for processing. This dewatering process occurs in three columns. condensate (light oil) and a mix of water and monoethyleneglycol (MEG used as an antifreeze). chemicals and power supplies from land are allocated to the templates via the control distribution unit. This involves three stages: 1. The liquid separated out in the slug catcher accordingly contains both MEG and water. Initial separation of the natural gas. Inlet Facilities -the gas is heated on its way from the slug catcher to the separator in the receiving terminal to inhibit the formation of hydrate (a kind of hydrocarbon ice). Slug Catcher . where the carbon dioxide binds to an amine solution and separates from the natural gas. It is treated to remove solid particles. These are natural gas (including natural gas liquids NGL). designed to cope with possible slugs of water.Treatment -the gas must be pre-treated before it can be liquefied. salts and most of the water. which must be removed to prevent ice forming in the cooling process. Pre. This ensures a steady flow into the process plant. Pressure in the reservoir provides the force needed to drive the gas to land. MEG Recovery -monoethyleneglycol (MEG) is added to the wellstream as an antifreeze to inhibit the formation of hydrate (hydrocarbon ice). 2. y y y y y y . On the Seabed -output from wells in each template is piped to the pipeline manifold and gathered into a single wellstream for transport through the pipeline to land. the MEG gets recycled back to the field through a dedicated pipeline and returned to the wellstream. NGLs. Particles and residual condensate are removed in the gas separator. After separation from the carbon dioxide in another column. Mercury removal even very small quantities of mercury in the gas can damage metal equipment in later stages of the process. Control signals. 3. After this treatment.the arriving wellstream passes first into the slug catcher. which may have formed in the line. Pipeline -the flow through the main pipeline to land combines several phases.LPG Manufacturing y Reservoir -drilling a production well into an underground reservoir is like sticking a pin in a balloon. condensate and water/MEG mix also takes place here. the amine is treated and returned to the process. CO2 removal Carbon dioxide must be removed to prevent it freezing to dry ice when natural gas is liquefied.

. Additional methane (natural gas) is the top product from the first column. while ethane is taken off at the top of the next. so that it can be used for electricity generation. LPG -the heavier hydrocarbons separated out initially pass through a series of fractionation columns for processing into liquefied petroleum gases primarily propane and butanes. they are further fractionated into products such as propane and butane known collectively as liquefied petroleum gases. and the receiving facilities at these terminals heat the gas up again. LPG is used for heating and cooking. dewatered. it will be stored in a separate underground formation in the field. Transport -specialized ships carry the gas to terminals. and as feedstock for petrochemical industry.y y y y Carbon Dioxide -to minimize emissions of this greenhouse gas. space heating and cooking. Pure propane is the top product of the third column. compressed and liquefied before being piped back to the field in a dedicated line. Carbon dioxide is removed in the amine plant. Fractionation -the heavier gas components NGL must be removed in a fractionation column to meet the sales specifications for the liquefied natural gas. as fuel for ships and vehicles. After separation. which goes into the plant s condensate system. A mix of butanes and propane are taken off as a side flow from the propane column and stored in a tank for export. The bottom product is condensate (light oil).

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