"Elemental sulphur" formation in natural gas transmission pipelines

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Authors

  • David Pack

Abstract

[Truncated abstract] The ‘elemental sulphur’ deposition problem is a fairly recent phenomenon for gas transmission pipelines. Although known for a number of decades to cause plugging in reservoir wellhead facilities, it is since about 1990 that ‘elemental sulphur’ deposition has openly been acknowledged as a problem in natural gas pipelines and other facilities downstream of gas processing plants. Within the past ten years this formation / deposition process has progressively been more widely observed. The increasing trend to have transmission pipeline systems operating at higher pressures is a significant contributing factor in the formation of “elemental sulphur”. This research project has been able to identify the principles and mechanisms associated with the formation and deposition ‘sulphur vapour map’ concept, that only sub ppm levels of sulphur vapour within the gas stream is required to initiate the “elemental sulphur” formation / deposition process. The ‘sulphur vapour map’ can be used in predicting the degree of sulphur vapour desublimation that will occur for given pipeline operating conditions of pressure, temperature and gas composition. This, in turn, will assist in the minimization of the deposition process through the ability to make simple, yet appropriate, modifications to the design of the required pipeline pressure regulation stage. A significant number of other potential contributing factors to this pipeline particle formation and deposition process have also been identified through this research work. From these findings a number of additional recommendations have been made that will assist pipeline operators in minimizing the impact of this deposition problem. These recommendations are based on the operation of the pipeline, and particularly the control of the entry of liquids and other contaminants into the pipeline system. Recommendations for further research
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
StateUnpublished - 2005

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