Development of Molecular Sieves for the Drying of Natural Gas

Project: Research

Project Details


Natural gas contains number of impurities, of which the most common is water. Water removal from natural gas reduces the risk of corrosion, the formation of hydrates and the blockage of ducts. Therefore, dehydration of natural gas is an important step to improve the quality of natural gas and consequently increase the price. Saudi Aramco produces huge amount of natural gas and consumes large quantities of molecular sieves. More than 100 vendors molecular sieves samples have been evaluated by the KFUPM team in the past (since 2007) for Saudi Aramco. It is now proposed to initiate developing our own in-house technology to prepare molecular sieves. The overall objective of the project is to develop shaped desiccant materials with required properties of moisture uptake capacity and physical strength against thermal cycling. The project activities will be initiated with molecular modeling and simulation (MMS) task. Suitable zeolite compositions will be identified in terms of Si/Al ratio and location of cations through the software package. This project will focus on synthesis of high surface area porous materials and developing a technology for the preparation of shaped molecular sieves for drying of natural gas. The synthesis of molecular sieves will follow two strategies: (i) based on input from molecular modeling task; (ii) by using novel adsorbent materials. The synthesized porous powder materials will be characterized by N2 sorption measurement, XRD/XRF, SEM and chemical composition by ICP. The shaped desiccants will be prepared using different percentages of binders and will be subjected to heat treatment at various conditions of temperature, heating rate and duration. The performance of shaped molecular sieves will then be evaluated by determining the equilibrium moisture uptake capacity and adsorption rate constant by intelligent gravimetric analyzer (IGA). The initial crush strength of the molecular sieves will be determined by Grain Crush Strength (GCS) unit. The in-house technology will be developed to prepare shaped desiccant materials with high performance that will have necessary properties such as large surface area, high moisture uptake capacity and rate of water adsorption and high physical strength
Effective start/end date1/07/211/01/23


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