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Hydrocarbon Recovery and Fractionation

Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) fractionation is the process used in gas processing plants to separate hydrocarbon mixtures from natural gas into individual products. These NGLs are ethane, propane, butane, and pentanes as well as natural gasoline found in natural gas.

Separation into components is carried out by relative volatility. The ease of separation is dependent on the relative volatility of the components within the products and the required purity of the product streams.

The size and cost of the fractionation column are determined by the degree of separation required and the component volatility. Products with higher purity will require more trays, more reflux and larger diameter of the column and/or reduced product.

A fractionation train is made up of a number of fractionators. The number of separators required depends on the number of components to be produced from the feed.

OSL has experience in the design and engineering of a wide variety of fractionators and devices that are used in the hydrocarbon recovery industry. These include:

  • De-methanizer
  • De-ethanizer
  • De-propanizer
  • De-butanizer
  • Splitters

OSL has worked on several fractionation plants providing the following services:

  • Debottlenecking study
  • Equipment design
  • Process Simulation
  • HAZOP
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Concept studies
  • Front End Engineering Design

Fractionation is considered an important method of producing products that can be used in the industry for different applications. Pure NGL products are used as feedstock by the petrochemical industry, in the production of motor gasoline by refineries and as fuel (ex. LPG) by industrial and residential consumers.

OSL can provide solutions to derive maximum value from your natural gas liquids. We have completed studies for different fractionation products. Some recent studies include the development of permanent solutions to reduce the contaminants in the refinery propylene product stream for a major operator, and a FEED study for the construction of an LPG storage facility. 

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