PROBLEM: The operating pressure and the inlet temperature for any gas application are important factors in the performance of deliquescent desiccants. Operating pressures in the 10-60 psig range and gas temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit can often be prohibitive factors to meeting a gas moisture specification of 7 lbs/MMSCF.

INDUSTRIES AFFECTED: sales gas, biogas, instrument gas and power generation.

SOLUTION: When using deliquescent type desiccants to dry natural gas, apply the golden rule of drying at the highest possible line pressure and lowest gas temperature. This may mean locating a deliquescent type dryer on the upstream side of a regulator to take advantage of a higher pressure or at the end of a pipe run to take advantage of ambient cooling. It is also important to choose the right desiccant for the operating conditions. Some deliquescent desiccants are more hygroscopic, having a greater ability to remove moisture at lower pressures and higher gas temperatures. To achieve the best performance and lowest operating cost, contact Van Gas Technologies for a desiccant solution that is right for your application.
For more information on our different types of deliquescent desiccants please click here.

If you have a problem with your natural gas application, please contact us. We are here to help solve your natural gas dehydration problems.

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Fuel Gas Conditioning – Drying and Filtering

by tylercurrie on July 24, 2017

Fuel Gas Conditioning – Drying and Filtering

Fuel conditioning in the natural gas industry is a broad concept that encompasses many technologies and processes.  Fuel gas conditioning is the removal of contaminants from a gaseous fuel prior to combustion.The selection of a fuel conditioning process depends on the answers to a few basic questions.

  1. What is the contaminant in the fuel?
  2. What is the concentration of the contaminant in the fuel?
  3. What are the operating conditions associated with the fuel supply (e.g. pressure, temperature, and flow rates)?
  4. What is the fuel quality standard  at the outlet of the conditioning system?
  5. What site specific conditions need to be considered, such as ambient temperature ranges, hazardous area electrical classifications, foot print restrictions, environmental constraints, and available utilities?

Common contaminants in natural gas are liquid water, water vapor, particulate matter, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide.  In many areas, natural gas emerges rich in heavy hydrocarbons.  While valuable and therefore not strictly contaminants, heavy hydrocarbons often render a gas stream unusable as a fuel source.

Processes for fuel gas conditioning generally fall into one of the following categories: separation, filtration, dehydration, sweetening (H2S and CO2 removal), or hydrocarbon dew point control.  Within each of these process categories there can be multiple technologies that offer a solution.

Van Air Systems and Van Gas Technologies offer solutions for the filtration and dehydration categories.  Our products remove solids, small volume liquids, and water vapor.  We do not produce bulk liquid separators, sweetening plants, or get involved with processes that alter the hydrocarbon content of fuel.

To illustrate typical applications, I’ll describe two different fuel conditioning cases I’ve been involved with recently.

Case 1

A company in California is co-generating electricity and heat by burning natural gas in two C-1000 Capstone micro turbines.  The fuel gas is being purchased from the local utility and is expect to be dry with a predictable heating value.

The owner of the micro turbines however is worried about particulate matter damaging the equipment.  The gas utility supply pipes are aging, and pipe scale, weld debris, and dirt could migrate into the micro turbine fuel lines.  To prevent solid contaminants from entering the micro turbines, Van Air Systems is supplying dual particulate removing filters.  The filters are sized to match the pressure drop, flow, and fuel quality standards defined by both micro turbine manufacturer and the end-user.  This application would also be a good place to use a deliquescent dryer as a guard bed to protect against off-specification, high humidity gas delivered from the utility.

Case 2

An oil producer in California injects high pressure steam into aging wells to enhance recovery.  The producer generates steam by burning natural gas drawn from well casings and oil storage tanks.  The fuel supply has two primary contaminants that unless removed would damage or destroy the steam generators: hydrogen-sulfide (H2S) and water vapor.  To remove H2S, or sweeten the gas,  the producer uses two towers packed with the scavenger Sulfa Treat.  After sweeting the fuel, gas flows through a modified version of Van Air Systems’ model D54 deliquescent dryer.

 

Fuel gas drying allows steam generators to operate trouble free.

Two dryers are installed in parallel for redundancy.  Each dryer is filled with a deliquescent desiccant called Dry-O-Lite.  This desiccant lowers the relative humidity of the fuel from 100% to about 55%.  The suppressed humidity level is dry enough to both prevent damage to the steam generators and to prevent water condensation in supply piping.   The producer chose the deliquescent drying process over other dehydration technologies for two reasons.  One, the Van Air Systems dryers do not vent any gas and therefore do not require air permits from state regulators.  Two, the dryers have no moving parts and do not require sophisticated training or expertise to operate.

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Deliquescent compressed air or natural gas dryer filtration: Why a coalescing filter downstream of dryer is important

June 19, 2017

Deliquescent dryers are a perfect solution for portable compressed air applications and point of use fuel gas applications. They are the ideal compressed air and gas treatment choice when low initial cost, ease of use, rugged handling and no electrical power is available on site.  These features offer a unique advantage over other dryer types.   […]

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Is your fuel gas fired engine struggling to burn a wet fuel gas supply?

May 17, 2017

Is your fuel gas fired engine struggling to burn a wet fuel gas supply? PROBLEM: It is very common to hear customers complain about their gas fired engines struggling to burn a wet fuel gas supply.  Although this problem occurs more frequently in the winter months where the engine, fuel line or fuel pod freezes […]

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Natural Gas Dehydration, Fuel Gas Conditioning, Instrument Gas Drying

April 24, 2017

Natural gas emerges from the ground with little resemblance to the clean dry fuel used in our homes and power plants. Many contaminants are present in raw natural gas including water vapor, which can cause a range of problems. These problems include the freezing of regulators and pipes, hydrate formation, liquid accumulation in pipeline low […]

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How to Avoid Air Line Freeze-ups By Using Ambient Outside Air and Installing a Deliquescent Dryer Outdoors.

February 20, 2017

In the compressed air and natural gas industry, there are many uses for dryers and dehydration applications that are unique. Very rarely are there two applications with the exact same conditions or specifications, unless there is a design for such a use and it is to be repeated. Recently I came across a customer that was […]

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Heater Treater Burner – Freezing Up

December 11, 2012

Many of the people we work with operatate in western Canada and the northern parts of the U.S.  Always around this time of year,  below freezing temperatures settle in with little relief.  Cold temperatures expose long festering problems associated with the use of wet gas for fuel and pneumatics.  Equipment starts to freeze-up. This morning I got […]

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Desiccant Dehydration Systems Antrim Shale Michigan

November 12, 2012

Last week we signed up and trained a new Van Gas Technologies distributor in the Traverse City, Michigan region, Hague Equipment.  Hague has served the natural gas industry for many years, and we’re eager to be working with a new partner. Hague has extensive experience packaging gas compression and servicing production equipment.  In particular, Hague has […]

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Water Dew Point vs. Hydrocarbon Dew Point

September 28, 2012

Bill Ulrich has a new post on our sister Blog at Van Air Systems, discussing the differences between water and hydrocarbon dew point. The industry practice of referring to rich, high BTU natural gas as “wet” gas is sometimes confusing to the degree that this use of the word wet does not mean water saturated.  Conversely, the term […]

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Wyoming Gas Fair – GasDry Desiccants

September 14, 2012

  We’re at the Wyoming Gas Fair this week in beautiful Jackson.  The mountain air is quite dry.  Here are pictures showing a GasDry Pime tablet and a GasDry Max tablet after sitting out for about 24 hours.  The GasDry Prime tablet has not formed any liquid, meaning the relative humidity of the ambient air must […]

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