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Comparing physical solvents for acid gas removal

Physical solvents such as DEPG, NMP, Methanol, and Propylene Carbonate are often used to treat sour gas. These physical solvents differ from chemical solvents such as ethanolamines and hot potassium carbonate in a number of ways. The regeneration of chemical solvents is achieved by the application of heat whereas physical solvents can often be stripped of impurities by simply reducing the pressure. Physical solvents tend to be favored over chemical solvents when the concentration of acid gases or other impurities is very high and the operating pressure is high. Unlike chemical solvents, physical solvents are non-corrosive, requiring only carbon steel construction. A physical solvent’s capacity for absorbing acid gases increases significantly as the temperature decreases, resulting in reduced circulation rate and associated operating costs.

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