295287 Acid Gas Absorption Fundamentals

Wednesday, May 1, 2013: 8:00 AM
Travis D (Grand Hyatt San Antonio)
Clint P. Aichele1, James R. Whiteley1, Yash Tamhankar1 and M.R. Resetarits2, (1)School of Chemical Engineering, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, (2)Fractionation Research, Inc., Stillwater, OK

Absorption is a standard unit operation that has been studied by chemical engineering students for decades.  One of its primary uses is for the removal of acid gases, like CO2 and H2S, from natural gas streams.  Historically, aqueous amine and hot carbonate solutions have been used to perform these absorptions.  Many different amines, solution strengths, activators and passivators have been tested and employed industrially.  Approximately half of the industrial towers are trayed; half, packed.  Foaming adversely affects the hydraulic performance in these systems.

Acid gas absorption is receiving appreciable new attention as concerns rise regarding CO2 in the atmosphere.  In addition, the United States has recently experienced significant growth opportunities in shale gas production which require improvements in gas treating technologies. This presentation reviews acid gas absorption and regeneration fundamentals.  Several PFD’s will be shown to illustrate important concepts.  New absorbent solutions will be discussed, including ionic liquids.  Flue gas applications will be discussed, including the difficulties associated with column pressure drops and very large column diameters.  Rate-based modeling approaches will also be reviewed.

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