Gas development projects face growing challenges from increasingly sour resources, tighter sales specifications and stricter environmental emission standards. The Sulfinol process is the leading single-solvent solution available for treating sour gases that contain trace sulfur in the form of mercaptans and other organic species down to the most sulphur specifications. Crucially, the treating line-up is simpler and it enables all-in-one removal of contaminants, which can help to reduce capital and operating expenditure.
The advantages can include:
- one step removal of acid gases (H2S, CO2) and Trace Organic Sulfur (mercaptans, COS, disulfides, thioethers, etc)
- faster CO2 and COS removal through enhanced reaction kinetics;
- higher loading capacity, which reduces the solvent circulation rate and facilitates the use of smaller equipment;
- reduced steam requirements compared to chemical solvents owing to its lower solvent circulation rate and heat of reaction;
- low solvent foaming tendency in the presence of heavy hydrocarbons, resulting in improved hydraulic characteristics;
- reduced solvent degradation, so reclamation typically is not required.
In addition, all the solvent chemicals can be sourced on the open market. Shell Catalysts & Technologies has a long history of developing gas-treating processes; The first Shell affiliated Sulfinol unit, for example, started up in 1964. More than 240 Shell facilities and licensees have applied the technology, and it has established a track record of high levels of performance and reliability.