The purpose of a glycol contactor is to remove water from a natural gas stream. When natural gas is produced, it typically contains a large amount of water that can be saturated or is at the water dew point. Natural gas that contains enough water can cause problems with downstream separations and equipment. Water has the potential to freeze in piping or form a hydrate, which is a combination of carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons, and plug the piping. Triethylene glycol (TEG) is the typical choice in an absorption vessel to remove water.
FLEXIPAC® HC® structured packing is typically recommended to increase the capacity of existing trayed towers. The use of structured packing also offers reduced column diameters and vessel height to process a given gas rate. It also offers improved efficiency over random packing at low liquid rates due to its superior wetting characteristics and fixed geometric structure. Structured packing is also less susceptible to channeling and maldistribution.
Most glycol loss is due to glycol carryover with the outlet gas. A high-efficiency DEMISTER® mist eliminator can reduce these losses. The use of structured packing also reduces entrainment of the glycol by minimizing localized high gas velocities. In addition, an INTALOX® high-performance enhanced baffle distributor minimizes liquid entrainment while providing superior liquid distribution quality.