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Gas treating (natural gas/syngas/lng) - Sulfinol process

Applications: The Sulfinol process is a regenerative process developed to remove H2S, CO2, COS and mercaptans from gases. The sulphur compounds in the product gas can be removed to low ppm levels. This process has been developed specifically for treating large quantities of gas, such as natural gas, which are available at elevated pressures.

The Sulfinol process is unique in the class of absorption processes because it uses a mixture of solvents, which allows it to behave as both a chemical and a physical absorption process. The solvent is composed of Sulfolane, DIPA or MDEA and water. The acid gas loading of the Sulfinol solvent is higher, and the energy required for its regeneration is lower, than those of purely chemical solvents.

At the same time, it has the advantage over purely physical solvents in that severe product specifications can be met more easily, and co-absorption of hydrocarbons is relatively low. The Sulfinol-M process is used for selective absorption of H2S, COS and mercaptans, while co-absorbing only part of the CO2. Deep removal of CO2 in LNG plants is another application. Integration of gas treating with the SCOT solvent system is an option.

Description: The feed gas is contacted counter-currently in an absorption column with the Sulfinol solvent. The regenerated solvent is introduced at the top of the absorber. The with sulphur compounds loaded solvent (rich solvent) is heated by heat exchange with the regenerated solvent and is fed back to the regenerator, where it is further heated and freed of the acid components with steam.

The acid components removed from the solvent in the regenerator, together

with excess steam, are cooled with air or water, so that the major part of the steam is condensed. The sour condensate is reintroduced into the system as a reflux. The acid gas is passed to the sulphur recovery plant (Claus plant), in which elemental sulphur is recovered. The application of a flash vessel is optional; it depends on the heavier hydrocarbon content of the feed gas.

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