Fuel Gas Conditioning Process and Equipment
January 14, 2020 Welcome
Gas conditioning is a critical part of several industrial applications and energy processes. Read on to learn more about the following:
- gas conditioning
- the difference between gas processing and conditioning
- the components of gas conditioning systems
- the different technologies used in the process
- and more
Looking for our selection of gas conditioning equipment? View the wide range of equipment that the IFS oil and gas skid manufacturers offer.
What is Fuel Gas?
Fuel gas usually refers to any natural gas fuel that is gaseous under normal conditions. Fuel gas can be used in reciprocating engines, boilers, fired heaters, and power plant turbines. Gaseous fuel, however, includes refinery gas, pipeline gas, wellhead gas, and lean gas. Many fuel gases contain hydrocarbons, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and more.
What Is Gas Conditioning?
In this blog post, we will mainly discuss the conditioning of pipeline, wellhead, or compressed gas to meet turbine manufacturers’ requirements. After leaving the pipeline, fuel gas often has entrained liquids and solids that need to be separated.
Often confused with gas processing, fuel gas conditioning does not change gases at a molecular level, but instead refers to the separation and removal of liquids and solids. Gas conditioning enhances the quality of the fuel by getting rid of unnecessary particles and condensate while regulating temperature and pressure.
Why Condition Fuel Gas?
Most importantly, fuel gas must be conditioned to ensure the safety of all workers and personnel involved in the project. Gas conditioning also helps maximize productivity and minimize costs by reducing equipment maintenance.
What Happens When Fuel Gas Isn’t Conditioned?
Fuel gas that is not conditioned runs the risk of combustion which can lead to the loss of life or limb. Gas that has not been treated may also wreak havoc on machine parts and cause erosion. Solids and particles can get lodged in the fuel nozzles and create plugs that can also cause leaks (which may lead to explosions if led back to the source).
Clean fuel burns more efficiently and increases the amount of power a turbine can produce. The turbine operates cooler and releases fewer pollutants as a result. Less maintenance is needed which saves operators more money in the long run.
What Is a Fuel Gas Conditioning Skid?
Fuel gas conditioning systems are sometimes skid-mounted for easier transportation and storage. Fuel gas conditioning systems are usually comprised of a scrubber, gas heater, pressure control, filtration, and occasionally temporary gas storage for fuel switching.
Learn more about our fuel gas conditioning skids and packages today.
Different Components of an IFS Fuel Gas Conditioning System
Bulk Solids and Liquid Removal
This robust, static mechanical unit is designed to operate with a larger tolerance so that little to no maintenance is necessary. Generally, they are designed so particles fall to the bottom of the vessel where they can then be removed. Different types of separators include multi-cyclone, horizontal vane packs, mesh pads, or a combination of the last two.
Fine Solid Interception (Flow – Outside to Inside)
When there are high levels of solids in a gas, an outside to inside media filter is recommended (gas flows from outside the filter and through it). This is because the surface area is larger on the outside of these filters and more effectively catches solids, whereas an inside to outside flow would face build-up inside too quickly and decrease productivity.
Fine Liquid Coalescing (Flow – Inside to Outside)
A coalescing filter allows gas with high liquid loading to pass through from the inside to outside. The liquid coalesces into larger droplets that can then be collected and drained towards the bottom.
Layout of an IFS Fuel Gas Conditioning System
The diagram below illustrates a traditional fuel gas conditioning system and the path the fuel gas will take as it makes its way to the turbine.
A. Initial Knock-Out Scrubber
A traditional fuel gas conditioning system begins when the gas enters the knockout drum where liquid is removed.
B. Optional Heater
If necessary, the gas is heated to prevent hydrates from forming, which can occur when there is high pressure and low temperature.
C. Pressure Reduction
Pressure is reduced to meet the equipment pressure requirements and prevent hydrates from forming.
D. Filtration Unit
After pressure reduction, the gas flows through the filtration unit where entrained solids and liquids are removed.
E. Dew Point Suppression Heating Unit
The gas then moves towards the heating unit (electric or gas-fired depending on the flow rates) to prevent condensation due to pressure loss as it moves across the turbine nozzles.
IFS Carries Dependable Modular Fuel Gas Conditioning Systems
IFS has specialized in the design and manufacturing of modular “engineered-to-order” liquid and gas conditioning and process systems since 1979. We have the expertise necessary to customize and deliver the solutions you require for your projects.
Contact us today for a quote!