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Amine Gas Treatment

One of the first steps in a natural gas treatment plant or refinery is the removal of acid gas, also known as sweetening. The most common method of sweetening is amine gas treatment.

Application Overview


Acid gas refers to natural gas that contains a significant amount of impurities, most notably carbon dioxide (H2O) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S).  One of the first steps in a natural gas treatment plant or refinery is the removal of this acid gas, also known as sweetening.

The most common method of sweeting is amine gas treatment.  Lean amine is fed into the top of an absorption tower, while raw natural gas is fed into the bottom.  As the heavier amine falls and lighter gas rises, the amines combine with the acid gas from the raw natural gas.  The resulting sweet gas (natural gas free of acid gas) exits the top of the tower for further processing while the rich amine (amine with absorbed acid gas) is drained from the bottom of the tower.  The rich amine is then sent to a flash tank where the acid gas is removed so it may be used to create other products and the amine (now lean amine again) can be reused in the absorption tower.

SAMSON Solutions


Many different control valves are used in the sweeting process.  The rich amine letdown control valve, lean amine pump bypass valve, and lean amine control valve are some of the most critical in the process.   Some of the particular challenges faced in these control valves during amine gas treatment are:

-> Hydrogen Induced Cracking (HIC) - HIC can occur in certain metals when exposed to hydrogen sulfide rich solutions (sour gas).  To avoid this undesirable phenomenon, SAMSON offers a full range of products designed in full compliance with the latest NACE specifications.

-> Outgassing - Entrained gas in the rich amine can will be separated and vaporize during the pressure drop in the letdown valve, leading to increased velocities and system vibration.  SAMSON offers a variety of special control valve trim solutions specifically designed to combat the effects of outgassing and provide consistent and reliable operation.

-> Cavitation - The lean amine valve and lean amine pump bypass valve typically experience varying levels of cavitation based on the large pressure drop in the valves.  SAMSON offers several anti-cavitation trim options which are able to reduce or completely eliminate cavitation in the valve.

-> Tight Shut-off - The lean amine pump bypass valve shut-off directly affects the efficiency of the system.  SAMSON offers optional high performance metal sealing to achieve leakage class V requirements and soft sealing options achieving leakage class VI.

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