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Glycol Dehydration is a liquid dessicant system for the removal of water from natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL). It is the most common and economic means of water removal from these streams. Glycols typically seen in industry include triethylene glycol (TEG), diethylene glycol (DEG), ethylene glycol (MEG), and tetraethylene glycol (TREG). TEG is the most commonly used glycol in industry.
Additional recommended knowledge
Lean, water-free glycol (purity >99%) is fed to the top of an absorber where it is contacted with the wet natural gas stream. The glycol removes water from the natural gas by physical absorption and is carried out the bottom of the column. Upon exiting the absorber the glyco stream is often referred to as "rich glycol". The dry natural gas leaves the top of the absorption column and is fed either to a pipeline system or to a gas plant.
After leaving the absorber, the rich glycol is fed to a flash vessel where hydrocarbon vapors are removed and any liquid hydrocarbons are skimmed from the glycol. This step is necessary as the absorber is typically operated at high pressure and the pressure must be reduced before the regeneration step. Due to the composition of the rich glycol, a vapor phase will form when the pressure is lowered having a high hydrocarbon content.
After leaving the flash vessel, the rich glycol is heated in a cross-exchanger and fed to the stripper (also known as a regenerator). The glycol stripper consists of a column, an overhead condenser, and a reboiler. The glycol is thermally regenerated to remove excess water and regain the high glycol purity.
The hot, lean glycol is cooled by cross-exchange with rich glycol entering the stripper. It is then fed to a lean pump where its pressure is elevated to that of the glycol absorber. After raising the pressure, the lean solvent is cooled again with a trim cooler before being fed back into the absorber. This trim cooler can either be a cross-exchanger with the dry gas leaving the absorber or an aerial type cooler.
An example process flow diagram for this system is shown below:
Gas Processors Suppliers Association Website
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Glycol_dehydration". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|