RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTEGRAL SEPARATOR FOR A CENTRIFUGAL GAS PROCESSING FACILITY
Research and development of a new dewpoint control and separation device (Integral Separator) was conducted. The functions of the Integral Separator are to expand a wet gas mixture to low temperature, separate the resulting condensed liquid phase, and compress the dry gas. The Integral Separator is a compact device suitable for remote gas production facilities. Injection of a liquid seed is used to initiate the formation of condensate in the expansion process on large droplets to facilitate
... s to facilitate separation. Test units and a prototype unit were designed with the aid of computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Tests were conducted with air and water mixtures, with nitrogen and water mixtures and with high pressure natural gas and injected heavy hydrocarbons. The air-water tests showed complete separation and dry gas compression with a compact device with a stationary separation surface. Pressure recovery was close to CFD predictions. High pressure nitrogen-water tests also showed complete separation and compression with a prototype unit. Pressure recovery was less than predicted due to internal slots and secondary liquid recovery holes. Operation of the prototype unit with high pressure natural gas was accomplished. Separation and pressure recovery were less effective than with air-water and nitrogen water tests. Contributing factors were determined to be the solution of the injected seed by the high pressure methane and flow reversal from the liquid capture passage induced by a recirculation zone. An integral separator with an improved flow field design and baffles to prevent flow reversal was designed to eliminate the above problems. The results of the market study conducted on the program showed a potential market for over 2,000 integral separators for offshore, subsea and land based remote gas production. In addition a market was identified for wet gas metering for distributed gas well fields. A supplemental plan was designed to complete demonstration of a commercial Integral Separator and is presented.