CGE667 Gas Process Engineering UITM Assignment Sample Malaysia

CGE667 Gas Process Engineering is an exciting and comprehensive course offered by UITM! Gas process engineering plays a pivotal role in various industries, such as oil and gas, petrochemicals, and energy, where the efficient and safe handling of gases is of paramount importance. This course is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand and optimize gas processing operations.

Throughout this course, you will delve into the fundamental principles of gas process engineering, covering a wide range of topics including gas properties, phase behavior, gas processing unit operations, and safety considerations. You will learn about the various stages involved in gas processing, from exploration and production to refining and distribution, and gain a deep understanding of the equipment and processes used in the industry.

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In this section, we will provide some assignment outlines. These are:

Assignment Outline 1: Have the ability to describe knowledge and comprehension of natural gas science, technology and industry and discuss the fundamental of natural gas field processing as well as hydrate formation and inhibition.

Knowledge and Comprehension of Natural Gas Science, Technology, and Industry:

Natural gas is a vital energy source that plays a significant role in the global energy mix. It is a hydrocarbon gas mixture primarily composed of methane (CH4) along with other light hydrocarbons such as ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8), and butane (C4H10). To have a comprehensive understanding of natural gas science, technology, and industry, several key aspects should be considered:

  1. Formation and Exploration: Natural gas is formed from the decomposition of organic matter over millions of years. It is typically found in underground reservoirs, often associated with petroleum deposits. Geologists and geophysicists employ various techniques to locate and assess the viability of natural gas reservoirs.
  2. Extraction and Production: Once a natural gas reservoir is discovered, extraction techniques such as drilling and well completion are used to access the gas. Production methods, including primary, secondary, and tertiary recovery, are implemented to maximize the extraction efficiency.
  3. Processing and Treatment: Natural gas often contains impurities like water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and other trace elements. These impurities need to be removed to meet pipeline specifications and ensure safe transportation. Processing techniques involve various unit operations such as separation, dehydration, sweetening, and fractionation.
  4. Transportation and Storage: Natural gas is transported over long distances via pipelines or in liquefied form (LNG) through specialized cryogenic vessels. Compression stations are employed along pipelines to maintain the desired pressure levels. Underground storage facilities are crucial for balancing supply and demand fluctuations.
  5. Utilization and End Uses: Natural gas serves multiple purposes, including electricity generation, heating, cooking, and industrial applications. It can be utilized directly in residential and commercial settings or in power plants for electricity production. Natural gas is also a feedstock for the production of petrochemicals.

Fundamentals of Natural Gas Field Processing:

Natural gas field processing involves a series of steps to purify and condition the extracted gas for transportation and utilization. The key steps in natural gas field processing include:

  1. Wellhead Separation: After extraction, the produced gas is initially separated from any liquids, such as crude oil and water, at the wellhead using separators. This separation step removes the bulk of the associated liquids.
  2. Dehydration: The gas often contains water vapor, which can cause corrosion and other operational issues. Dehydration units, commonly using glycol or desiccants, remove the water vapor to achieve the required water content specification.
  3. Acid Gas Removal: Acid gases, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), are corrosive and can have adverse effects on downstream equipment and pipelines. Acid gas removal processes, such as amine-based sweetening units, remove these impurities.
  4. NGL Recovery: Natural gas liquids (NGLs) such as ethane, propane, butane, and natural gasoline are valuable byproducts of natural gas processing. Fractionation units separate these NGLs from the processed gas stream for further processing or commercial sale.
  5. Compression and Transmission: Once the gas is treated and purified, it is compressed to the required pressure for transportation through pipelines. Compression stations are strategically placed along the pipeline to maintain pressure levels and facilitate the flow of gas.

Hydrate Formation and Inhibition:

Hydrates are ice-like crystalline structures that form when water and natural gas combine under specific temperature and pressure conditions. Hydrate formation can occur in pipelines and process equipment, leading to operational issues, blockages, and potential safety hazards. Effective inhibition strategies are employed to prevent hydrate formation, and some common methods include:

  1. Temperature Control: Hydrate formation is temperature-dependent. By maintaining the gas temperature above the hydrate formation temperature, either through insulation or direct heating, the risk of hydrate formation can be minimized.
  2. Pressure Management: Hydrates form at high pressures. By controlling and reducing the pressure within the pipeline or equipment, the hydrate formation tendency can be reduced. This can be achieved through pressure control valves or pressure relief systems.
  3. Chemical Inhibition: Chemical inhibitors, such as methanol, ethanol, and monoethylene glycol (MEG), can be injected into the gas stream to disrupt hydrate formation. These inhibitors work by lowering the hydrate formation temperature or modifying the water-gas interaction.
  4. Hydrate Dissociation: In cases where hydrates have already formed, methods such as pigging (mechanical cleaning devices) or hot water circulation can be employed to dislodge and melt the hydrates, allowing the flow to resume.

Understanding the science, technology, and industry aspects of natural gas, as well as the fundamentals of natural gas field processing and hydrate formation inhibition, is essential for efficient and safe utilization of this valuable energy resource.

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Assignment Outline 2: Have the ability to apply the fundamental concepts of phase separation, natural gas compression, treating and dehydration.

Phase Separation: Phase separation refers to the process of separating different phases of a mixture based on their physical properties, such as density or solubility. In the context of natural gas processing, phase separation plays a crucial role in separating the various components of the gas stream. The primary phases involved in natural gas phase separation are:

  1. Gas Phase: The gaseous component of natural gas, primarily composed of methane (CH4) along with other hydrocarbons such as ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8), and butane (C4H10).
  2. Liquid Hydrocarbon Phase: This phase consists of heavier hydrocarbons, such as pentane (C5H12) and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, which are present in the gas stream.
  3. Condensed Water Phase: Natural gas often contains water vapor, which can condense under certain temperature and pressure conditions. The condensed water phase needs to be separated from the gas stream.

To achieve phase separation, the following processes can be employed:

  1. Separators: Separators are vessels designed to allow the gas and liquid phases to separate based on differences in density. The gas phase is typically removed from the top of the separator, while the liquid phase is withdrawn from the bottom.
  2. Scrubbers: Scrubbers are used to remove liquid droplets from the gas stream. The gas passes through a mist eliminator or a series of baffles, causing the liquid droplets to separate and settle at the bottom of the scrubber.

Natural Gas Compression: Natural gas compression involves increasing the pressure of the gas to facilitate transportation through pipelines or storage. The compression process serves several purposes:

  1. Enhancing Flow: Compression increases the pressure of natural gas, allowing it to flow efficiently through pipelines or other transportation systems.
  2. Overcoming Pressure Drops: Compression compensates for pressure drops that occur due to frictional losses or elevation changes along the pipeline, ensuring a continuous flow of gas.
  3. Storage: Compressed natural gas (CNG) can be stored in underground reservoirs or tanks for future use, reducing the required storage volume.

Gas compression can be achieved using various types of compressors, including reciprocating compressors and centrifugal compressors. The selection of a compressor depends on factors such as the required discharge pressure, gas flow rate, and efficiency requirements.

Treating and Dehydration: Natural gas often contains impurities, such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbon dioxide (CO2), and trace amounts of other contaminants, which need to be removed through gas treating processes. Additionally, water vapor present in the gas stream must be removed through dehydration to prevent pipeline corrosion and hydrate formation. Common methods for gas treating and dehydration include:

  1. Amine Treating: This process utilizes amines, such as monoethanolamine (MEA), to remove acidic gases like H2S and CO2 from natural gas. The gas stream is brought into contact with the amine solution, which selectively absorbs the impurities.
  2. Molecular Sieve Dehydration: Molecular sieves, such as zeolite, are used to adsorb water molecules from the gas stream. The molecular sieve bed is periodically regenerated by applying heat to remove the adsorbed water.
  3. Glycol Dehydration: Glycols, such as triethylene glycol (TEG), are commonly employed to dehydrate natural gas. The gas stream is passed through a contactor column where TEG absorbs the water vapor. The TEG is then regenerated by heating, allowing it to be reused.

These processes ensure that the treated natural gas meets the required specifications for pipeline transportation, storage, or further processing.

Assignment outline 3: Have the ability to appraise the natural gas liquid recovery process, the non-hydrocarbon component recovery/removal processes and the liquefaction of natural gas.

The natural gas liquid (NGL) recovery process, non-hydrocarbon component recovery/removal processes, and the liquefaction of natural gas are all crucial steps in the production and utilization of natural gas. Let’s explore each process individually:

  1. Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) Recovery Process: The NGL recovery process involves separating and extracting valuable hydrocarbon liquids from raw natural gas. These liquids, including ethane, propane, butane, and pentanes, have higher energy content and can be used as valuable products in various industries. The typical steps in the NGL recovery process include:
  1. Preprocessing: The raw natural gas is first subjected to various preprocessing steps to remove impurities such as water, sulfur compounds, and solid contaminants. This ensures the gas is clean and suitable for further processing.
  2. Refrigeration Process: The preprocessed natural gas is then cooled to lower temperatures using refrigeration techniques. This cooling causes the condensation of heavier hydrocarbon components, forming a liquid phase.
  3. Fractionation: The condensed mixture is then sent to a fractionation unit where it undergoes further separation. The components are separated based on their boiling points, with the lighter NGLs, such as ethane, being separated first, followed by propane, butane, and pentanes.
  4. Storage and Transportation: The separated NGL components are stored in appropriate containers or tanks and then transported to various markets for further processing or utilization.
  1. Non-Hydrocarbon Component Recovery/Removal Processes: Apart from the NGL recovery process, it is also necessary to remove non-hydrocarbon components from natural gas. These components include contaminants such as water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and other trace impurities. The removal processes involve:
  1. Dehydration: Water vapor is removed from natural gas using various dehydration methods, such as adsorption or absorption techniques, to prevent the formation of hydrates and corrosion in the gas transmission system.
  2. Acid Gas Removal: Processes like amine treating or physical solvent absorption are employed to remove acidic components such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from the natural gas stream. These acidic gases are corrosive and can have detrimental effects on equipment and pipelines.
  3. Mercury Removal: Natural gas may contain trace amounts of mercury, which can be toxic and cause damage to equipment and catalysts. Specialized adsorption processes or chemical reactions are used to remove mercury from the gas stream.
  1. Liquefaction of Natural Gas: The liquefaction of natural gas involves cooling the gas to extremely low temperatures, typically below -162 degrees Celsius (-260 degrees Fahrenheit), to convert it into a liquid state. Liquefaction allows for easier storage, transportation, and utilization of natural gas. The liquefaction process consists of the following steps:
  1. Preprocessing: Similar to NGL recovery, the raw natural gas is preprocessed to remove impurities and non-hydrocarbon components, as discussed earlier.
  2. Refrigeration and Compression: The gas is then cooled and compressed using multiple stages of refrigeration and compression. This process reduces the temperature and pressure of the gas, causing it to condense into a liquid state.
  3. Liquefaction and Storage: The condensed natural gas, now in liquid form (commonly known as LNG), is stored in specialized cryogenic storage tanks. LNG has a significantly reduced volume compared to its gaseous state, making it more economical for storage and transportation.
  4. Regasification: At the receiving terminal or destination, LNG can be regasified by heating it to return it to its gaseous state. Regasified natural gas can then be used for various applications, including power generation, heating, or as a feedstock for industrial processes.

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