Formulated solvents: New opportunities for energy efficient separation of acid gases

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Carbon dioxide (CO2) separation technology can be considered to be a mature technology. However, there remains ample room for process efficiency improvements in the existing plants. In addition to conventional gas processing, a number of other CO2 removal applications are em erging which may provide considerable opportunity to the gas processors. These new applications include enhanced oil recovery (EOR) gas processing separation of CO2 from power plant flue gases to minimize green house gas emissions, and so forth. They require newer technology or modification of existing technologies. Formulated amines can play a significant role in these areas. A formulated amine can be broadly defined as an amine that has been specifically formulated to perform specific task, for example, selective separation of H2S from light hydrocarbons in the presence of CO2, bulk separation of CO2, and so on. A formulated amine can consist of a single solvent such as methyl diethanolamine (MDEA) or a solvent mixture such as a mixture of MDEA and diethanolamine (DEA) in aqueous solutions. Most of the proprietary solvents marketed by the major solvent manufacturers are based on formulated amines. By judicious choice of a formulated amine or amine mixture, process efficiency of the existing plants can be enhanced significantly compared to the use of traditional amines. Furthermore, some of the gas processing problem s that can not be dealt with using the conventional technology in an economical manner can be easily handled with formulated amines. EOR gas processing is such an example. In the case of EOR gas processing, the concentration and volume of CO2 to be separated from the produced gas increases with time. This creates a major challenge for the design engineer in the design of a processing plant flexible enough to handle variations in CO2 concentrations ranging from 0 to 80%. Formulated amines may be an answer to this problem. This article will describe the challenges and the opportunities formulated amines may provide to the gas processing industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages51-62
Number of pages12
Volume21
No.1-2
Specialist publicationEnergy Sources
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

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