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Integrated Water and NGL Removal from Natural Gas

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000250325D
Publication Date: 2017-Jun-28
Document File: 3 page(s) / 51K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This disclosure describes methods for removal of water and NGL components (C2-C5 hydrocarbons) from natural gas prior to liquefaction. A challenge associated with cooling a wet natural gas stream is the risk of hydrate formation at temperatures below about 20C. Therefore, the temperature of the natural gas stream must be tightly controlled.

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Integrated Water and NGL Removal from Natural Gas

This disclosure describes methods for removal of water and NGL components (C2-C5 hydrocarbons) from natural gas prior to liquefaction.  A challenge associated with cooling a wet natural gas stream is the risk of hydrate formation at temperatures below about 20C.  Therefore, the temperature of the natural gas stream must be tightly controlled. 

The configurations disclosed herein are particularly applicable to single mixed refrigerant (SMR) and dual mixed refrigerant (DMR) processes.   However, the concept would also be applicable to any other type of refrigeration system such as propane precooled mixed refrigerant, cascade, gas phase refrigeration and any other processes suitable for the liquefaction of natural gas.  It is not limited to any refrigerant, heat exchanger type, or refrigerant compression system.  In some cases, the NGL removal step may be eliminated, such as when the feed natural gas does not contain significant C2-C5 components.  Heavy hydrocarbons (C6+ hydrocarbons) may also be removed integrated with NGL and water removal.

Figure 1 shows an arrangement wherein a feed natural gas stream 1, preferably after acid gas removal, is cooled against ambient in AMB to produce a wet natural gas stream 2.  The wet natural gas stream 2 is then cooled in ECON to produce a cooled natural gas stream 3, which is then sent to the dehydration unit, DEHYD for removal of water.  The dehydration unit may comprise one or more separation devices, such as phase separators.  Any other type of water removal device may also be used.  A water stream and an overhead stream 4 are produced from the dehydration unit.  The overhead stream 4 is then cooled in heat exchanger, HX against a coolant to produce a further cooled natural gas stream 5, which is then warmed in ECON against the...