The Importance of Controlling Amine Regenerationblueskyadmin
While the focus is often on the removal of contaminants from natural gas streams within the oil and gas industry, it is also important to understand what takes place after H2S removal and carbon dioxide removal has occurred. Rich amine is capable of being re-concentrated through a continual distillation process that results in removing the absorbed hydrocarbons and acid gases from the amine solution. Filtration is utilized in the process to remove contaminants, deposits, degradation products, and other impurities in order to make it possible for the amine solution to be restored for re-circulation through the system.
Amine regeneration skids are commonly used at gas plants for this purpose, involving the following pieces of equipment:
• Amine reboilers
• Rich/lean plate heat exchanger
• Cartridge filter
• Charcoal filter and tower
• Lean amine cooler
The regeneration process occurs in a two-stage process involving the reboiler and a still. Amine enters the still from the top, where it interacts with steam produced by the reboiler. Inside the still, heat is produced by steam to result in a reverse reaction, thus diluting H2S and CO2 that is released during the regeneration process.
Amine then flows directly into the reboiler, which consists of a shell and tube heat exchanger. Inside the exchanger, steam is utilized to produce heat for vaporizing the water comprised in the amine solution. In order to ensure that thermal degradation of the amine does not take place, the thermal fluid temperature must be carefully maintained. The most common practice is for the thermal fluid temperature to be restricted to less than 360°F, while return temperatures are managed at 280°F.
The subject of optimal temperature control is one that is often of concern to many operators. It should be noted that optimum conditions can vary significantly based on the type of amine solution that is used as well as specific conditions related to the amine plant . In addition, the strength of the solution, the type of feed, various process design constraints, the type of amine that is used, reflex rate, and the reboiler type, just all be taken into consideration. Changing even one parameter in the process can have a significant effect on the regeneration process. If you have noticed that your regeneration process may not be operating at peak efficiency, it may be necessary to adjust one or more variables.
The requirements associated with such systems can often prove to be complex and require the attention of a vendor with significant experience regarding natural gas processing applications. If your facility is not already working with a firm experienced in managing optimal amine sweetening processes , there is a good chance that your facility is not operating at peak efficiency, potentially resulting in lost production value. Collaborating with a service provider experienced in working with various types of amine plants can ensure that each system is handled in a manner that is cost-effective and efficient. As a result, you can rest assured that your facility is operating at peak efficiency while maximizing all of your resources.