Detection of Elemental Sulfur Deposition in Gas Pipelines using Microwave and Optical Techniques

Project: Research

Project Details


The deposition of elemental sulfur inside gas transmission lines has been recognized as an operational problem in the continuous flow of natural gas. This phenomenon can affect normal rig operations by clogging the pipeline leading to plant shutdown. Therefore, the need for an optimum solution arises; to effectively detect the onset of sulfur deposition inside the pipeline so that swift response and action can be taken before any operational shut down happens. Two different detection mechanisms can be employed to cost-effectively monitor the gas pipeline. This research aims to use microwave and optical sensors to detect the deposition rate of elemental sulfur within the natural gas carrying pipeline. The sensors can be made of microwave and/or optical strain sensors mounted on the inner wall of the pipeline and calibrated to generate a reflection response related to the thickness of the deposited sulfur. They can be used for a relatively coarse (with less expensive microwave sensor) and precise (with more expensive optical sensors) monitoring the deposition rate along the pipeline. Many challenges are associated with microwave detection: such as how to best integrate the microwave sensors within the internal wall of the cylindrical pipeline, how to best feed the microwave sensors, determining the number and position of the antenna-array, and how to isolate interference from neighboring sensors. Similarly, the optical detection proposal is faced with challenges like choosing the reliable wavelength separation between the FBG sensor array, how to place the sensors on the internal walls of the pipe, etc.
Effective start/end date1/07/2131/12/22


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