Natural gas production has surged over the last decade with the discovery of large new gas wells and gas plant expansions. The abundance of natural gas reserves has led to low domestic trading prices and a need to export for all major natural gas producing countries. Natural gas is also viewed as a placeholder as political agendas are pushing for less reliance on coal and development of renewable energy technologies. U.S. News forecasts a “20% increase in demand for U.S. natural gas by 2020”. The U.S. is expected to be the third largest exporter of LNG by the end of the decade only behind Australia and Qatar.
For transportation and storage, natural gas is cooled and compressed into a liquid called liquefied natural gas (LNG). There is about a 600:1 volume change from gas phase to liquid phase which equates to more efficient use of storage and transportation resources for exporters. Contaminants in natural gas which need to be removed prior to liquefaction include Total sulfur and BTEX.
Increasingly strict reporting regulations and tariffs on the sulfur content of sales quality natural gas has boosted the need for analyzers with a fast response time and multi-component measurement capabilities. In addition, natural gas process producers often need to comply with contractual pipeline agreements and are interested in corrosion prevention on their liquefaction equipment.
Benzene, toluene and xylenes (BTEX) in pre-liquefied natural gas readily freezes at the cold temperatures required in the liquefaction process. The liquefaction equipment can become blocked or coated by these solids which requires shut down for maintenance. As a preemptive measure, LNG producers remove BTEX from the natural gas before liquefaction. Validation of the BTEX concentration in pre-liquefied natural gas ensures efficient BTEX removal to protect downstream equipment.
Applied Analytics offers an automated and continuous measurement solution for monitoring total sulfur and BTEX in pre-liquefied natural gas. Our equipment is designed with a focus on high accuracy, low maintenance and a fast response time. The OMA-300 is a complete solution for monitoring H2S, COS, MeSH, and EtSH to sum to a total sulfur measurement and determining BTEX concentrations in pre-liquefied natural gas.
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