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Extracting NGLs from the Natural Gas Stream Jan 24, 2014

Natural gas is capable of providing an efficient and cost-effective solution. Even so, when natural gas is produced from reservoirs located underground it is not yet ready for transportation to the end user. First, it must be processed in order to remove certain impurities and water. H2S removal and carbon dioxide removal can prove to be essential to the process.


Heavier hydrocarbons known as natural gas liquids or NGLs must also be extracted from the natural gas feed. The liquids are extracted from the stream because they have a higher economic value as raw materials to assist in the production of gasoline and chemicals than they do as fuel. Additionally, heavier liquids can actually concentrate inside the natural gas stream, thus resulting in issues with the transportation of gas through the pipelines.


Four different technologies are typically used for the recovery of natural gas liquids. Those methods are dry-bed adsorption, oil absorption, cryogenic recovery, and refrigeration. Once the natural gas liquids have been removed from the natural gas stream, they can then be separated through the use of distillation towers into individual components, including natural gasoline, butane, propane, and ethane. 

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