Controlling Natural Gas Pollution Using the Model 75 (7,500 SCFM) Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO)

Overview of the Problem

One of the leading US-based independent oil and gas producers, and one of the largest independent processors of natural gas and natural gas liquids in North America were looking at innovative technologies to maintain pollution control efficiency at their natural gas treatment facility.

Pollution controls are required to treat the well head natural gas in typical gas plants to remove carbon dioxide, sulfur compounds and heavy hydrocarbons before it is sent to the pipeline. Amine adsorption is normally used to remove the acid gases formed by H2S and CO2. The amine must be stripped off these acid gases so it can be reused. It is essential to treat the amine stripper off gas (tail gas) before discharge to atmosphere to eliminate residual hydrocarbons and satisfy EPA regulations.

Action Taken

Historically, gas and oil plants have used direct-fired thermal oxidizers with no heat recovery for tail gas treatment. A considerable amount of thermal energy was used in this facility to maintain temperatures of 1,500 °F, ensuring all organics were combusted and costing them a significant amount of money in operating costs. A number of air pollution control manufacturers were challenged by oil and gas producers to not just offer an effective system but also an energy efficient one.

Figure 1.

Air pollution control requirements of this facility needed to be met and careful measures were taken to assure the right equipment selection.

Solution

Anguil was chosen due to their unique approach toward air pollution control and energy conservation and suggested their Model 75 (7,500 SCFM) Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) with heat recovery for efficient and effective operation.

The contaminated process gas is pre-heated as it passes through beds of ceramic media located in the energy recovery chambers. The process gas moves from the pre-heat chamber toward the combustion chamber, where the VOCs are oxidized, releasing energy into the second energy recovery chamber before going to atmosphere.

A diverter valve switches the process gas direction so both energy recovery beds are fully utilized, bringing down any auxiliary fuel requirements. The system is developed for heat recovery of 85% and is self-sustaining, requiring little auxiliary fuel use. Considerably low operating costs are offered by this energy-efficient design when compared to other emission treatment methods.

The RTO is developed to prevent corrosion by the acid gases and to handle the high organic loading with low oxygen levels. The gas here is sweet and there is no H2S but precautions are taken to prevent carbonic acid attack. Anguil offered a Class 1, Division 2, Group D control package. Hot fresh air was introduced to the system offering supplemental oxygen without condensing moisture in the process stream. An essential factor for this project’s success was Anguil's application specific engineering.

With a destruction rate efficiency of 99% being achieved by the Anguil RTO, it is expected to save the customer $500,000 per year in natural gas costs over the direct-fired thermal oxidizer. The customer’s expectations of affordability and efficiency were exceeded by Anguil’s detailed system design and equipment.

About Anguil Environmental Systems

Anguil Environmental Systems is a global provider of industrial air pollution control, vapor combustion and emission abatement systems. We design, manufacturer, service and install thermal and catalytic oxidizers for the destruction of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), process odors and Nitrous Oxides (NOX). Since 1978, our vapor treatment technologies have been used in a variety of air pollution control applications and industries.

In addition, Anguil also specializes in energy recovery systems that reduce a company’s operating costs, lower their carbon footprint and decrease energy consumption by utilizing waste heat from manufacturing processes. The company is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA with offices in the United Kingdom, Asia and an extensive network of agents located domestically and throughout the world. With an emphasis on engineering and problem solving, our goal is to provide solutions today that help customers remain profitable tomorrow.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Anguil Environmental Systems.

For more information on this source, please visit Anguil Environmental Systems.

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