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Mercaptan Solubility in Glycols, June 2020


Project 151 focuses on the measurement of vapor-liquid equilibria (VLE) data for mercaptans and organic sulfur compounds in triethylene glycol and (mono)ethylene glycol (MEG). TEG is the most commonly used solvent used in the dehydration of natural gas. MEG and methanol are frequently used as hydrate inhibitors by injection in pipelines, or in processing equipment where conditions can favor hydrate formation. No data exist in GPA Midstream work, or any other public source for these sulfur compounds in either TEG or MEG. Previous GPA Midstream research has focused on the measurement of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbonyl sulfide (COS) VLE in these glycols. The mercaptans have only been measured in amine solutions. Thus, the information in this report consists solely of novel VLE measurements. Depending upon the design of the regeneration and other systems in these units, the presence of these contaminants may have an environmental impact due to low sulfur emission requirements. VLE data are needed to determine how much of these contaminants will be absorbed by the glycol solutions so that they can be properly accounted for in design and operations. Government regulations provide strict limits for sulfur emissions in processing equipment. Previously, when these mercaptans were present, there was no reliable method available to predict the absorption of these mercaptans and their environmental impact due to the absence of VLE data. Data acquired in Project 151 will be a major step towards that goal.

Sven Horstmann, Andreas Grybat, Christian Ihmels - Associate Institute at the University of Oldenburg

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