January 2009

Special Report: Gas Processing Developments

Which physical solvent is best for acid gas removal?

Four common solvents are compared

Burr, B., Lyddon, L., Bryan Research & Engineering, Inc.

Many methods are available for acid gas removal from product gas streams. Some commonly used methods are chemical solvents, physical solvents, membranes and cryogenic fractionation.1 Ethanolamines and hot potassium carbonate are chemical solvent processes that rely on chemical reactions to remove acid gas constituents from sour gas streams. Chemical solvent regeneration is achieved by heat application, whereas physical solvents can often be stripped of impurities by reducing pressure without heat application. Physical solvents are favored over chemical solvents when acid-gas concentration is very high. Unlike chemical solvents, physical solvents are noncorrosive, requiring only carbon steel

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