April 2020

Process Optimization

Amine swap assessment for refinery application

This article highlights the simulation work and performance advantages for swapping the MEA solvent with a formulated MDEA solvent. The examination compares the performance of three commercial solvents selected for the study.

Saudi Aramco’s Riyadh refinery is designed to process 120,000 bpd of crude oil. The refinery produces refined products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt and sulfur. The refinery has amine units to treat refinery off-gases and liquid petroleum gas (LPG). The amine gas treating unit consists of three amine absorbers—fuel gas, hydrogen (H2) and LPG—with a common amine regenerator system. The unit uses monoethanolamine (MEA) to treat three sour streams received from different facilities. MEA solvent has several disadvantages: high energy consumption, a high corrosion rate, and limited capacity due to limited amine concentration. Therefore, the need to convert MEA to a different amine—a meth

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