Low Quality Natural Gas Sulfur Removal and Recovery CNG Claus Sulfur Recovery Process

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Increased use of natural gas (methane) in the domestic energy market will force the development of large non-producing gas reserves now considered to be low quality. Large reserves of low quality natural gas (LQNG) contaminated with hydrogen sulfide (H{sub 2}S), carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) and nitrogen (N) are available but not suitable for treatment using current conventional gas treating methods due to economic and environmental constraints. A group of three technologies have been integrated to allow for processing of these LQNG reserves; the Controlled Freeze Zone (CFZ) process for hydrocarbon / acid gas separation; the Triple Point Crystallizer (TPC) process ... continued below

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32 p.

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Klint, V.W.; Dale, P.R. & Stephenson, C. October 1, 1997.

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Increased use of natural gas (methane) in the domestic energy market will force the development of large non-producing gas reserves now considered to be low quality. Large reserves of low quality natural gas (LQNG) contaminated with hydrogen sulfide (H{sub 2}S), carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) and nitrogen (N) are available but not suitable for treatment using current conventional gas treating methods due to economic and environmental constraints. A group of three technologies have been integrated to allow for processing of these LQNG reserves; the Controlled Freeze Zone (CFZ) process for hydrocarbon / acid gas separation; the Triple Point Crystallizer (TPC) process for H{sub 2}S / C0{sub 2} separation and the CNG Claus process for recovery of elemental sulfur from H{sub 2}S. The combined CFZ/TPC/CNG Claus group of processes is one program aimed at developing an alternative gas treating technology which is both economically and environmentally suitable for developing these low quality natural gas reserves. The CFZ/TPC/CNG Claus process is capable of treating low quality natural gas containing >10% C0{sub 2} and measurable levels of H{sub 2}S and N{sub 2} to pipeline specifications. The integrated CFZ / CNG Claus Process or the stand-alone CNG Claus Process has a number of attractive features for treating LQNG. The processes are capable of treating raw gas with a variety of trace contaminant components. The processes can also accommodate large changes in raw gas composition and flow rates. The combined processes are capable of achieving virtually undetectable levels of H{sub 2}S and significantly less than 2% CO in the product methane. The separation processes operate at pressure and deliver a high pressure (ca. 100 psia) acid gas (H{sub 2}S) stream for processing in the CNG Claus unit. This allows for substantial reductions in plant vessel size as compared to conventional Claus / Tail gas treating technologies. A close integration of the components of the CNG Claus process also allow for use of the methane/H{sub 2}S separation unit as a Claus tail gas treating unit by recycling the CNG Claus tail gas stream. This allows for virtually 100 percent sulfur recovery efficiency (virtually zero SO{sub 2} emissions) by recycling the sulfur laden tail gas to extinction. The use of the tail gas recycle scheme also deemphasizes the conventional requirement in Claus units to have high unit conversion efficiency and thereby make the operation much less affected by process upsets and feed gas composition changes. The development of these technologies has been ongoing for many years and both the CFZ and the TPC processes have been demonstrated at large pilot plant scales. On the other hand, prior to this project, the CNG Claus process had not been proven at any scale. Therefore, the primary objective of this portion of the program was to design, build and operate a pilot scale CNG Claus unit and demonstrate the required fundamental reaction chemistry and also demonstrate the viability of a reasonably sized working unit.

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32 p.

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OSTI as DE97054226

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  • Natural gas conference, Houston, TX (United States), 24-27 Mar 1997

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  • Other: DE97054226
  • Report No.: DOE/MC/29470--97/C0874
  • Report No.: CONF-970367--
  • Grant Number: AC21-92MC29470
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 643592
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc694002

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • October 1, 1997

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • Nov. 10, 2015, 8 p.m.

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Klint, V.W.; Dale, P.R. & Stephenson, C. Low Quality Natural Gas Sulfur Removal and Recovery CNG Claus Sulfur Recovery Process, article, October 1, 1997; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc694002/: accessed July 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.