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TEG Dehydration Design Basis

and Design Guidelines

Design Basis
Contactor Operating Pres
Contactor Operating Temp
Gas Moisture Content Spec 0.05 lb w/MMSCF
-50°F hydrate at 2500 psia
Contactor Structured Packing
Contactor Struct Packing Wetting Rate 0.3 to 0.7 gpm/ft 2
Stripping Column Struct Packing
Reboiler Heat Flux Rate 6-8,000 BTU/Hr-Ft 2
Contactor Diameter Based on Fs=2.5
,whereFs= Vρ ½
Contactor Packed Section 21.25 feet
Contactor Demister 16 inch Thk York Reid (Otto York )
Stripping Column Diameter 6”
Stripping Column Packed Section 8 Feet
Stripping Gas Rate 8 SCF/Gal
TEG Circulation Rate 3gal/lbw
Reboiler Operating Temperature 400°F
Reboiler Operating Pressure 1 psig
Reboiler Design Pressure >100 psig
Reboiler Design Temperature 450°F

Gas Dehydration Pretreatment

This should include adequate vapor/liquid separation and solids filtration. I feel stronger about the adequate vapor/liquid
separation than the solids filtration. If you have some liquid formation, that should help in the washing out of solids. If
your operation has very little condensation upstream, then the need for solids filtration is stronger. The need for good
upstream vapor liquid separation cannot be over emphasized. If you have liquid hydrocarbon entrainment into your
system, the entire operation will be negatively impacted. If you have a trayed column, it will foam, with the
accompanying heavy entrainment losses and lower column efficiency. The liquid hydrocarbon will carry through to the
flash drum, also causing potential foaming problems there, and possible overloading the flash drum overhead system.
With flashing hydrocarbons, the amount of gas coming off in the flash drum will be many times the normal operating
rate. If you have a good flash drum it may be able to remove the liquid hydrocarbon here, if not it is off to the reboiler,
to be vaporized there and possible overload the gas system there. Not all the hydrocarbon will be vaporized. The heavy
ends will form a tar like substance to foul your surge drum, lean/rich exchanger and filters. It is far easier to do a good
job upstream on the original vapor liquid separation, than to deal with the far more difficult job of liquid-liquid
The upstream vapor liquid separator should be sized to handle more gas than the glycol contactor can handle. Eventually
operations will push the system to a gas rate it cannot handle. May as well let the thing which fails be less annoying. If
the upstream separator fails first the operation will require much attention, and have heavy TEG losses.
The upstream separator should be sized to handle 20% more gas the rest of the TEG system. Also the separator should
be simple in nature, and less likely to fail. A vertical separator, with a horizontal mesh pad fits this criteria. Putting in an
extra thick pad will help reduce the entrainment load. A 12 inch, multidensity wire mesh pad should do good. With a dp
cell across the mesh pad to warn of its flooding.
The TEG Contactor can be either structure packing or bubble cap trays. I don’t think having an integral vapor-liquid
separator below the contactor is the most reliable system. A failure of the seals between the glycol contactor and the
vapor-liquid separator can result in losses of TEG, which would be hard to trouble shoot. Also now with the use of
structured packing the capacity of the vapor liquid separator will not be as high as the TEG Contactor. Remember the
liquid density in the vapor liquid separator will be lower than the TEG, resulting in a lower allowable velocity.
The only enhancement I would make is a thicker pad and make it composite (6 inches of type 421 and 6 inches of type
A gas filter downstream of the knockout drum may be nice, but I am not sure it is that necessary. If you do install one,
do not count on it to also remove liquids. They typically are designed for a very high ρ V²(150) and do not reliable
remove liquid.
A good vapor/liquid separator is absolutely essential for the TEG unit to operate well and trouble free. The allowable
velocity calculated for the mesh pad should be based on the vapor density and the liquid hydrocarbon density (not the
water density or the average density of the liquid hydrocarbon and liquid water)
The maximum inlet temperature to the TEG system should be considered carefully. Just going from 90°F to 100°F can
increase the water load on the reboiler system by 35%. Also the obtainable dewpoint will be effected directly (10°F
TEG Contactor
Structured Packing Contactor
Contactor Diameter
If structured packing is used here it should be designed for a maximum Fs of 2.8.

Internals for the contactor should include:

• York Reid Demister
This is a Dacron/316SS composite mesh pad designed specifically for TEG Dehydration service. I recommend a
16 inch thick pad, with 1 inch top and bottom grids. The contactor should have top and bottom rings to hold the
mesh pad in place. Omission of the top ring sometimes results in loss of the mesh pad and increased TEG
losses. The mesh should also be wired into place on the bottom ring. The top of the mesh pad needs to be far
enough away from the gas outlet nozzle to prevent channeling. The distance is equivalent to drawing a 45° line
from the outer edge of the mesh pad to the outlet nozzle. This results in a vertical distance = (mesh pad
diameter - outlet Gas diameter)/2 The bottom of the mesh pad should be at least 3 feet above the top of the
TNT 727 distributor (not counting the parting box).
• Inlet TEG Distributor pipe
This is merely an internal extension of the lean TEG line to the contactor. It is routed to the parting box above the TEG

• Glitsch TNT 727 Narrow Trough Distributor (316SS), with parting box
This will provide the ‘proper’ distribution of the TEG to the structured packing. It is constructed with small orifices for
distribution. If the orifices plug, the TEG will rise and flow into the same drip tube via a V notch. The drip tube can be
extended to be close to the packing surface. The final connection to the packing should be wire gauze which is tack
welded to the drip tubes of the TNT 727 distributor. Glitsch can provide their distributor already configured in this
manner. It is important that the liquid glycol does not free fall to the packing surface. If it is allowed to free fall,
entrainment into the gas phase can take place, with a corresponding increase in glycol losses. Drip points/ft 2 should
equal 4.

• Glitsch HDG 421 Packing Holddown

• Glitsch HPD 202 B High Performance Distributor

This is structured packing which is in 1/2 the normal thickness of 9.75 inches. Two layers of 4.875 inch thickness are
used to speed up the distribution of the glycol. To prevent flooding and entrainment from the top of the packing, Glitsch
normally uses one size larger of structured packing. In this case 1/2 inch crimp instead of the 1/3 inch crimp of the
packed bed. I also recommend using a 60° crimp angle to further decrease the gas velocity at the top of the bed. This
reduces the velocity by over 20%, which should in turn reduce the tendency to entrain.
• The Packed Section

• 21.25 feet of Gempak 3A structured packing. The original PBU contactors had their bubble cap trays replaced
with about 17 feet of packing.

• Glitsch HPS 121 packing support

• Inlet gas distributor
I’m not terribly knowledgeable on inlet gas distributor requirements. I have seen contactors with no distributor, half
pipes, spreader pipe style distributors and chimney trays. I think if your inlet velocity is reasonable (in the area of 50
feet/sec) you should be able to use a half pipe, located about two feet from the bottom of the packing. Glitsch may have
some comments in this area.
• Contactor Surge Volume
This volume should be about 20 minutes. This will take care of normal upsets, etc and also allow for some volume for the
holdup of TEG in the contactor. I recall the liquid holdup being about 5% at the high design gas rates. By putting the
surge volume control on the contactor you maintain a even flow of TEG to the Reboiler and minimize upsets. Anytime you
vary the flow to the reboiler, you stand the chance of changing the reboiler temperature. It is important to maintain the
400°F reboiler temperature. Even small upsets to this can throw off the lean teg. The original system of using a surge
drum under the reboiler, and allowing its level to float up and down, leaves the TEG pump subject to running dry and
cavitating. Having a large reciprocating pump cavitating can be quite exciting.
Bubble Cap Tray Contactor
If bubble cap trays are used, you just need to set the number of trays, and install a mesh pad. Again I recommend a
York Reid Demister. I am aware of 12 foot diameter bubble tray tower operating at a C of 0.27 and a Demister K value of
0.3. The unit is operating well, except it is starting to carry over some glycol, which is causing trouble downstream in the
Brazed Aluminum Heat Exchanger. The TEG freezes in the downstream heat exchanger, causing the pressure drop to
increase. The frozen teg is removed by a high dosage of methanol. (15 gpm for 5 minutes). Please note the above
quoted C is based on the tray area (with the downcomer area subtracted from the tower area). This is equivalent to
about a C of 0.23 using the entire column area. The efficiency of the column is expected to fall off as the entrainment
goes up. Since the total flow of glycol is very low for a contactor, even low entrainment rates between trays can
dramatically hurt your efficiency. A 10 foot diameter column with 10 gpm internal entrainment has substantially
decreased its efficiency since the total liquid rate to the column may only be 30 to 60 gpm. The entrainment of the rich
teg from the tray below to the tray above, essentially makes the upper trays have richer teg, reducing their ability to
TEG Regeneration System
• Rich TEG/Still column Reflux exchanger
This unit allows for some reflux (water) in the still column to reduce the TEG losses from the regeneration
system. Typically you need to allow for about 20 degrees of temperature change in the rich teg to provide
enough reflux in the still column to reduce the losses. I often see a temperature spec on the still column
overhead. A temperature spec does not make a lot of sense if you are using stripping gas. Once you begin
condensing water, the temperature of the overhead will remain relatively constant even with large changes in
reflux duty. It is essentially a two component system: highly volatile gas and water. Once the gas rate is set,
the overhead pressure of the still column, and the amount of water removed by the TEG system, then the mole
fraction of water in the Still Column overhead gas is set. This essentially sets the overhead temperature, since
the gas will be in equilibrium with liquid water on the top section of the Still Column. Once the reflux is high
enough to reduce the TEG losses, you are only increasing the Reboiler Duty when you reflux more.
• Rich/Lean Heat Exchanger
This heat exchanger adds more heat to the rich TEG to bring up the flash drum temperature to 150°F. Running
the flash drum temperature up, reduces any foaming tendency. This exchanger also recovers heat from the
lean TEG.
• Flash Drum
The purpose of this drum is to degas the TEG and allow for decanting of any liquid hydrocarbon. As mentioned
earlier, decanting the liquid hydrocarbon is often difficult. If you do a poor job of it, you lose TEG as well. Best
option is to not let any liquid hydrocarbons into your system. This unit runs best at a relatively warm
temperature. Low pressure also reduces foaming.
• Another Lean/Rich heat Exchanger
This final lean/rich heat exchanger is for heat recovery. You should expect to be able to get the rich TEG up to
275 to 300°F. The remainder of the heat will have to be added by the reboiler.
• Reboiler
Reboiler should be operated at 400°F and low pressure (as close to atmospheric as feasible). I am familiar with
units that have operated at these temperatures for over 20 years with no degradation problems. Running at a
lower temperature will make it more difficult to get the required TEG purity. The temperature controller should
be a PID type controller (proportional, integrating, derivative). On-off control of the TEG Reboiler temperature
is totally unacceptable at the required TEG purity of this system. Fire tube flux rate can be designed for 8,000
Btu/hr-ft 2 . Again I am familiar with units that have operated for years at 10,000 Btu/hr-ft 2 with no significant
problems . As I said the pressure of the reboiler should be low. This makes it easier to make high purity TEG.
Higher operating pressures can be offset with longer packed sections in the stripping column and more stripping
gas. I would not be concerned with running up to 10 or 12 psig. We had a unit which was designed to run at 1.5
psig, but a badly designed overhead condenser had a 10 psig pressure drop, resulting in a high reboiler
pressure. The unit still made its 99.98wt% TEG spec as a result of a 8 foot long structured packing section and
design stripping gas rate of 8 scf/gal
• Stripping Column
The stripping column ( the stand pipe that the glycol flows down from the Reboiler to the Surge Drum). I recommend
using structured packing for the stripping column. The column will be highly liquid loaded (20 to 40 gpm/ft 2) The column
should be designed with the upset liquid rates in mind. To avoid too large of an upset rate, do not over size the level
control valve from the TEG Flash Drum.
Structured packing is about twice as efficient as pall rings (see attached graph) and doesn’t have the problem of packing
leaving the column as pall rings sometimes do. I also recommend using 8 feet of packing. This allows for much easier
attainment of the required lean TEG Concentration of 99.99 wt%. I have attached a graph depicting the TEG
Reboiler/Stripping column performance for various numbers of theoretical trays. I have plotted the performance in terms
of wt % H2O, instead of the usual wt % TEG, as it results in straighter lines, and are easier to read in the high TEG
Concentrations. While it can be argued that you don’t need 99.99 wt % , it really doesn’t cost much to get the extra lean
concentration once you are committed to putting in stripping column. The graph I have attached is based on a 2 psig
reboiler pressure. This will likely require a blower. If your LP Compressor (say 5 psig), we should be able to operate at
the higher pressure of 6 or 7 psig and compensate with more stripping column. The current spec’d 8 foot height might
even do the job. The bottom of the stripping column should not extend far into the surge drum as is commonly the case.
The column should end near the top of the surge drum. This will allow the stripping gas to flow from the surge drum to
the bottom of the stripping column.
• Stripping Gas
This gas should be routed to the bottom of the stripping column via the surge drum. Do not route this gas pipe
through the reboiler. Since the stripping column will be using structured packing the gas pipe can not be routed
down the column as is commonly done. Also the gas can be preheated by routing it along the bottom of the
surge drum in the liquid phase. A rotameter should be provided for metering of the stripping gas prior to
entering the surge drum. A manual throttle valve down stream of the rotameter will be adequate for control.
• Surge Drum
Flow to the Surge drum should be in one end and out the opposite end of the vessel to ensure good mixing and
discourage static areas. This vessel should be used to protect the pumps. The majority of the system surge
should be taken at the contactor, as explained earlier.
• Rich/Lean TEG Exchanger
Traditionally these units were shell and tube. More common is now to see plate and frame heat exchangers. The
plate and frame heat exchangers are much more compact.
• Still Column
The purpose of the still column is to reduce the TEG losses. It achieves this by having 2 trays (bubble cap)
above the rich TEG feed point. The liquid for the trays typically comes from an internal still column condenser (a
coiled tubing exchanger). This provides a small flow of liquid water for reflux. This is generally enough since the
boiling points between water and TEG is so large (546°F versus 212°F).
• Still Column Reflux Condenser
This is an area that has resulted in annoying TEG losses. The typical reflux condenser is a coiled tube. The tube can
crack/fail and then rich TEG is sprayed into the outlet still column gas stream. If this system is still used, at least make it
easy to pull the coil and replace it. Alternative overhead condensers should be considered which are more robust. I once
had to trouble shoot a TEG system that was experiencing high losses. I did the usual inspection and found 20 volume %
TEG in the Still Column Effluent Drum. I reviewed the stripping gas rate, etc to determine if the unit could be flooding,
but it appeared alright. A performance test where I varied the amount of reflux in the overhead resulted in the losses
increasing with increasing reflux. This is just the opposite of what one would expect. This operation ran parallel
dehydration trains, so I repeated the test on the parallel unit and got the system response I originally expected.
Shutdown and inspection of the reflux coil reviewed it to be cracked at the point it hangs from the top of the still column.
This units can be difficult to reweld.
• Still Column Effluent Condenser
Not all units will have one of these. Frequently this is the end of the line for TEG units. The effluent just vents
into the air. This is becoming more and more unexceptable for more units with concerns and regulations
regarging BTEX ( Benzene, Tolulene, ethlybenzend and xylene). Typically units with gas rates 25 MMSCFD may
come under the regulations. This condenser cools the effluent gas down from around 200° to 100°F.
• Still Column Effluent KO Drum
Same comments as above. This allows for the knock out of liquids, prior to routing the gas to a blower or
compression system.
• Effluent Blower
This unit recovers the stripping gas and any absorbed hydrocarbons and routes them else where in the plant for
reuse. Some care is needed in specifying this unit. TEG absorbs a lot of heavy hydrocarbons and CO 2 . If the
stripping gas is turned off or reduced, the mw of the gas going to the effluent blower can change dramatically. I
was starting up a unit once, and to tune the recycle system I reduced the system flow by turning the stripping
gas way down. The recycle system responded by opening the recycle valve. Shortly after that the blower motor
tripped on high amps. This particular blower did not have a pressure gauge downstream of it, so I did not notice
what must have been a substantial increase in mw as a result of the reduction in stripping gas. I expect the mw
went from 22 to around 36 or so. To make matters worse the breaker broke and we were out of commission for
a day. I did not realize why the amps went up on reduced gas flow until considerable later.
• TEG Additions
This can be a problematic area for TEG Systems. The TEG should be added upstream of the Regenerator as the storage
TEG is no where close to 99.99 wt%. I recently contacted a lab regarding the concentration as they receive it. It was
99.7 wt %. The TEG also must be added slowly to the system, otherwise the Reboiler will suffer a significant drop in
temperature, with a corresponding drop in lean TEG concentration. I recommend a normal addition rate of no more than
10% of the circulation rate. I have been running performance tests on TEG Systems, and noted 30 to 40°F drops in the
reboiler temperature, and find out the operator is adding teg at a rate similar to the normal circulation rate, greatly
overloading the TEG Reboiler, and leaving the system upset for some time. Since I don’t expect your TEG loss rate to
exceed 0.1 gal/mmscf, if you add TEG weekly, it will take about one hour to make up the losses. A transfer pump may
have to be included for high rates (or use the spare TEG Circulation pump).

Lab Tests

Typical lab tests for the TEG Units are:

• Water contents of Rich and Lean TEG - (Karl Fischer) dependent on your dewpoint spec
• PH of rich and lean TEG 6.8 to 7 on the lean
• particulates <1mg/liter
• Still column Effluent (Refractive Index) <1 volume % TEG

• Water content of Gas - Either Bureau of Mines Dewpoint Testor or Lockwood and McLorie Analyzer
On Line Analyzers
The only on line analyzer I ever see on a TEG system is a moisture analyzer and they usually don’t work well. The probes
are easily fouled with TEG. Also they can be quite sensitive to pressure variations. I once was installing a new probe and
thought it would be a good idea to pop and purge the sample loop to speed up the drying out of the sample system.
Unfortunately the pop and purge cycle causing the gold foil on the probe to come apart. Another failed probe.
My best experience with moisture analyzers for the gas is the Lockwood and McLorie analyzer. This is quite a
complicated device that involves flowing a know quantity of gas through a packed column of glycerol. The glycerol
column is taken to the Lab and eluted into a special chromatograph. The chromatograph output is two peaks on graph
paper, which is measured either manually with a planimeter or electronically with an integrator. This area of the peak is
compared with a standard which is injected into the chromatograph before and after every set of samples is run. The
standard is a 7 micro liter sample of ethyl ether that was in equilibrium with liquid water. Knowing the temperature of the
ethyl ether and the solubility of water in it, allow you to calibrate the area of the chromatograph peaks to micro grams of
water. The end result is a direct measurement of the lb water /MMSCF of gas. A very accurate instrument, which is able
to reliable measure down to 0.02 lb water/MMSCF. It does require a reasonable lab to run and is some what labor
intensive. If you don’t need this high accuracy a Bureau of Mines dewpoint testor does a very nice job.
The Bureau of Mines Analyzer is the original dewpoint tester. This device routes a sample of your gas past a chilled
mirror. By viewing the chilled mirror you can determine the dewpoint of your gas. The temperature of the chilled mirror
is varied by running a refrigerant by it. This device is rugged and reasonable accurate, but requires a skilled operator and
is not an online device. This device can be purchased from Chandler Engineering, ph 918-250-7200; fax 918-459-0165.
Cost runs about 3 to $5,000.
An automatic/online version of the Bureau of Mines testor has been developed by Bovar Western Research. They can be
contacted in Calgary, Canada at 403-235-8300.The cooling capacity of this device is 90°F (50°C) below the temperature
at the monitor installation. The cost is about $25,000.
Conversion of existing Bubble Cap Tray units to Structured Packing
This can work out very nicely. You may increase your capacity as much as 100%. Of course you will be loading up your
regeneration system somewhat. The majority of the heat load in a regen system is in the heating up of the glycol. In one
of these conversion jobs, the water load of the rich TEG starts to add up. To compensate for this, you may reduce the
TEG circulation rate. The structured packing needs a wetting rate of at least 0.3 gal/ft². Additional problem areas are if
you have an integral vapor liquid knock out drum in the bottom of the contactor, it will likely limit your capacity.
Conversion of the unit will require removal of all of the trays, and cutting of the tray support rings (don’t get carried
away, you will need the bottom ring to support the packing and the top ring for the packing hold down and liquid
The very first installation of structured packing on the North Slope did not include the cutting off of the support rings.
This was likely because structured packing was untested in glycol dehydration and removing the support rings would
prevent the operator from reinstalling the trays. Unfortunately it also guaranteed the unit would fail. Leaving the support
rings in place allowed wet gas to bypass the structured packing. When the inlet gas moisture content is 45 lb/MMSCF,
and the outlet spec is 0.1 lb/MMSCF you don’t need to bypass much gas to be off spec.
The recommended procedure is to remove the support rings to 3/8” of the wall.
Any downstream TEG Knock drum will likely need to be upgraded to handle the higher gas rates. I recommend the York
Reid Demister for this service. Ideally you should handle the mist removal at the top of the contactor. I don’t think you
gain anything by exiting the contactor and shearing the teg entrainment particles into smaller particles to be removed
downstream! Also proper use of a liquid distributor for the TEG and York Reid Demister should allow (if there is space in
the contactor) you to recover the TEG in the Contactor, which is simpler anyways.

Separator Sizing

Gas/Liquid Separation

This paper will discuss gas/liquid separation, and will for the most part be focused on vertical separators, where there is
a large amount of gas and a relatively low amount of liquid.
Much of the discussion which follows is based on rV2 and K. The following defines these parameters:
K value
This K value is used to define the maximum allowable velocity for a mist elimination system. This has been traditionally
used in calculations for mesh pads. The mesh pads are generally designed with K values between 0.15 and 0.35 . The
mesh pad is an impact device. The mist is suppose to hit a strand of wire and coalesce with other small droplets to form
big droplets, with eventual drainage out of the mesh pad and falling down into the liquid section of the vessel. If the K is
too low the mist can dodge the wire mesh strands. If the K becomes too high, then the mesh pad floods. The traditional
limit for K was 0.35. However this simple limit is affected by operating pressure, type of fluids being handled and mesh
pad construction (very dense mesh pads will be more efficient, but have lower capacity). The formulae for K value is:
K=U/√[(rL-rV )/rV ]
rL=Liquid density, lb/ft³
rV=Vapor density, lb/ft³
U= Maximum Allowable vapor velocity, ft/sec
rV2 is generally used to size vane units. The allowable values as specified by manufactures has varied considerable. The
values have ranged from 20 to 150. The following defines rV2:
r = Vapor Density, lb/ft³
V=Vapor Velocity, ft/sec
Area = Vane area, ft²
rV2 = (M/Area)²/r

The advantage of calculating rV2 using lb/sec is that it makes it clear the dependence on gas density and on flowrate.
Once rV2 has been calculated, it can be converted into a K value by the following formulae:
K=U/√[(rL-rV )/rV ]
Separation methods for gas and liquid can be separated into the following major areas:
Gravity Separation
This technique is generally used for flare ko drums where no separator internals are tolerated. It results in large vessels
as the result of low allowable velocities. I don’t plan on discussing this method any further at this time.
Centrifugal Separation
This technique spins the gas in an attempt at causing the denser material (liquid) to separate. This technique results in
relatively small vessels. The draw backs are relatively high pressure drop and low turndown capability. Also this
technique is not good for small particles. I don’t recall the break point for particle diameter. The “Portatest Separator” is
an example of this technique
Mesh Pads
This technique utilizes mesh pad . Mesh pads are typically made up of 0.011 inch diameter wire, woven into pads. The
pads are stacked on top of each other to a thickness of 6 inches. Grids are placed on both sides of the wire mesh pads
and separated by wire rods. This provides some structural integrity to the pad. The pads are woven in different densities
for different applications. In the oil and gas industry we typically use a 6 inch thick pad of 9 lb/ft3 (type 431). A high
efficiency, lower capacity pad frequently used is a type 326 (8 lb/ft3, .006 dia wire). The more targets the mesh pad has
the more efficient it is. Pads can be made thicker to get more efficiency without a decrease in capacity. I have attached
several graphs depicting the effect of surface area and wire diameter.
In glycol dehydration service we use 16 inch thick York-Reid Mesh pads. These are a coknit of 316SS and dacron. It
works real well in this service. The coknit doesn’t work well in dirty oily services. This tends to plug the coknit and make
it flood.
Mesh pads are also referred to as wire mesh pads, demisters and mist elimination systems. It should be noted that
demister is a registered trade mark of Otto York.
Mesh pads are designed to work in a velocity range. Too low of a velocity allows the liquid particles to dodge the wires
and escape. Too high of a velocity floods the mesh pad and allows the liquid particles to escape. The allowable velocity is
calculated using a “K” value. The allowable K value at low pressure (100 psig) is between 0.15 to 0.35. The K value gets
derated as the operating pressure increases, for every 100 psi over 100 psi subtract .01 from the allowable maximum K
K max=0.35-0.01*(Operating Press-100)/100.
If two liquid phases are present the lowest density liquid should be used when calculating the allowable velocity.
Gas distribution is an important consideration in designing then mist elimination system. The gas inlet and outlet nozzles
cannot be located close to the mesh pad, or localized high velocity will result. If you have no chose and have to locate
the mesh pad close to the outlet nozzle, some of the maledistribution can be over come by installing a perforated plate
above the mesh pad. The perforated plate must be above the mesh pad to avoid problems with maldistribution (it will
take several hole diameters downstream of the hole to get uniform flow, while upstream is not effected by the local hole
velocity, and the high velocities in the perforated holes will shatter droplets into smaller diameters – downstream of the
mesh pad this doesn’t matter). The perforated plate causes pressure drop, which help maintain even flow across the
mesh pad. Typical problems with mesh pads are that they fail as a result of not being carefully held into place. I prefer to
have a support ring top and bottom for them and to wire them into place. With the support ring above the pad, it would
be very difficult for the pad to get lose, even if the tie down wires were to get lose, or break.

Density Surface %Void Wire Mesh Styles

Area s Dia

Lb/Ft³ Ft²/Ft³ inch Koc Ott AC Description

h o S
12.0 115 97.6 .011 412 4B
0 A
10.8 110 97.7 .011 421 421 All Around, Heavy Duty
10.0 163 94.0 .006 371 371 Liq-Liq Coalescer, Fog
9.0 86 98.2 .011 431 4314C Standard, good all around
0 A
8.0 140 98.4 .006 326 3263B Super High Eff, fine mist
0 F
7.3 65 98.5 .011 644 644 High Eff - anti fouling
7.0 65 98.6 .011 531 5315C Economy Performance
0 A
5.0 48 99.0 .011 931 9317C High Thruput
0 A
20.0 450 96.0 552 X2
0 00
27.0 610 94.6 554 333X1
0 00
4.0 125 97.0 221 2218T Fluoropolymer for corrosive serv
4.0 150 97.0 241 2418P Polypropylene corrosive serv
Separation efficiency
Separation efficiency for mesh pads can be estimated by:
Calculating the target efficiency, by using the attached graph. The x axis consists of
K=D1²Vel(rL-rV )/18mDWire
D1 =Droplet diameter, ft
Vel =Gas Velocity, ft/sec
ρ L =Liquid density, lb/ft³
ρ V =Vapor density, lb/ft³
µ =Gas viscosity, lb m/ft-sec
D =Diameter of mesh wire, ft

Using the attached graph and the separation number, the target efficiency can be read.
The target (impact) efficiency is then used with the following formulae to predict the overall mesh pad efficiency:
Separation Efficiency=100-100/e 0.21STE
Check out the separation efficiency graph and the impact of mesh pad thickness

S = Pad surface area, ft²/ft³

T = Pad Thickness, feet
E = Impaction efficiency

Vanes are another method used to separate gas and liquid. While they can be
oriented in either the horizontal or vertical (or even in a V-Bank, frequently used
in horizontal vessels), the preferred orientation is vertical, with the gas flow
horizontal. The vanes operate at higher velocities than the mesh pads. They also
are generally used in combination with the mesh pads. The mesh pads precede the
vanes and coalesce the small particles into large particles. The mesh pads are
generally operated in a flooded condition, with the liquid exiting the mesh pads
being removed by the downstream vane unit. The liquid impacts the vane and
flows along it, until it hits a pocket. The liquid then flows down the pocket to a
trough and is routed to a drain pipe and into the liquid portion of the separator.
The drains are either routed to below the low level shut down point, or have pee
traps. The drains must have some form of liquid seal, or entrainment laden gas
will flow up the drain. I prefer to have both a pee trap and route the drain to
below the low liquid level. Also note the pee traps should be liquid filled before the
vessel is started up, if possible. The traps should eventually fill with liquid, but you
are better off started with them full. The operating staff should be made aware
that a liquid level must be maintained in the vessel for it to function correctly.
The vanes operate with a pressure drop. The pressure drop for the vane is about 1
inch water column; the associated mesh pad will have a much higher pressure
drop (3 to 10 inch water column). If the pressure drop is too high, liquid will be
sucked up the drains and drawn off with the exiting gas. This will result in your
separator failing. The vanes systems are good, but they are not idiot proof. Many
of the problems with this type of separator can be in the drain system, so it is
worthwhile to carefully review the drains and seals during the design phase. Also
you should calculate the pressure drop that the liquid will incur in the drain
system. If the pressure drop is too high, the liquid is again carried out with the
exiting gas. Other problems are the drain lines are not well restrained, and are in
the path of the incoming gas. This can result in setting up a harmonic vibration,
which can eventually cause the drain system to fail.
The mesh pad is generally 4 inches thick and a type 431. I have used a thicker
pad for more difficult (small particles) separations. Vanes are sized based on arV2.
I use a rV2 of 32 (normal flow, 40 for design rate) for sizing Peerless P8X vanes.

Typical Vane Installation

TEG Dehydrators


The basic function of the tri ethylene glycol (TEG) dehydration unit is to
remove water vapor from natural gas streams to an outlet water content
meeting pipeline specifications, usually seven lb./MMSCF or less. QBJ has
designed and built special TEG dehydration units which have met water
specifications of less than 1 lb. / MMSCF.
Dehydration, or water vapor removal, is accomplished by depressing the water dew
point (defined as the temperature at which vapor begins to condense into a liquid)
from the inlet dew point temperature to the dew point temperature for the outlet
water content required.

The most common dehydration method used for natural gas is the absorption of
water vapor in the liquid desiccant, Tri ethylene Glycol. The wet gas is brought into
intimate contact with lean dry glycol in the tray or structured packing section of an
absorber tower where water vapor is absorbed in the glycol thus depressing the
water dew point. The wet rich glycol is pressure reduced and then flows from the
absorber to the regeneration system. The wet rich TEG is pre-heated (via heat
exchange), entrained gas is separated, additionally heated (via heat exchange) and
fractionated in the still column and reboiler by heating and boiling off the absorbed
water vapor. The water dry lean glycol is cooled (via heat exchange) and pumped
back to the absorber.
The QBJ regeneration systems can be equipped with proprietary baffling and
stripping columns. These units produce lean TEG glycol concentrations from 99.1%
up to 99.95% (wt.) concentration by the use of dry gas to strip more water out of
the hot regenerated glycol. The proprietary QBJ “Enhancelator” produces TEG glycol
concentrations of 99.5% (wt.) without the use of stripping gas.
With special design, material selection and fabrication requirements, the TEG
dehydration process can be applied to CO2, H2S, oxygenated gases or any other
Dew point depression is dependent on TEG circulation rate (gallons per pound of
water in the gas), lean TEG concentration, number of equilibrium stages (number of
trays) in the absorber, contact temperature and pressure.
Dew point depression is especially sensitive to inlet gas temperature. TEG
dehydration units yield a higher dew point depression with an increase in
temperature and correspondingly a lower dew point depression with a decrease in
inlet gas temperature. This performance change is primarily due to the change in
gas-glycol contact efficiency in relation to temperature. Even though the dew point
depression increases with an increase in inlet gas temperature, the outlet gas dew
point will be higher. For the lowest obtainable outlet dew points it is desirable to
have a low inlet gas temperature.
Normal operating temperatures range from 50 to 135 F. 50 F is considered to be the
minimum operating temperature due to the high viscosity of glycol at lower
temperatures. 135 F. is the upper practical temperature limit for TEG dehydrators
because of the increased TEG vaporization losses at higher temperatures.
Pressure appears to have little effect on dew point depression in the dehydration
process. Existing data indicates that the dew point depression is essentially
constant over a range of 0 to at least 3000 PSIG. Pressure does however affect the
water vapor capacity of the gas. At lower pressures the gas can absorb more water
per unit volume.
Typically, increasing the number of trays, the glycol circulation rate or the lean TEG
concentration will increase the dew point depression. Increasing glycol rates above
4 to 6 gallons per pound does not usually have an appreciable effect on dew point
depression. Increasing TEG concentration or the number of trays is usually more
effective than increasing glycol circulation rate in maximizing dew point
The dehydration unit consists of an absorber and regenerator. The mass transfer section of the absorber may be trays, structured
packing or random packing. A standard design, unique to QBJ, is a large TEG disengagement space above the top tray and below
the mist extractor. This space allows additional time for glycol - gas separation and minimizes TEG losses. The standard QBJ
regenerator is a high concentration type concentrating the glycol to over 99.1% by the use of stripping gas or by concentrating the
glycol to 99.5% without the use of stripping gas in the Enhancelator.

The lean, dry TEG entering the absorber should be cooled to within 10 degrees of the gas temperature to maximize the efficiency of
the mass transfer media and to minimize TEG vaporization losses. The absorber is normally equipped with an external glycol/gas
heat exchanger; however, some units are supplied with a fin fan air-cooled exchanger.

The water rich glycol is withdrawn from the bottom section of the absorber via a
level controller and level control valve on units utilizing electric or gas fired pumps.
Units using an energy exchange glycol / gas powered pump, do not require a level
control system since the pump transfers the energy available from the wet glycol,
at the absorber pressure, to an equivalent volume of dry glycol at re boiler
pressure. The additional energy to overcome friction, line and system pressure
losses is supplied by gas at the absorber pressure.
The absorber may be provided with an integral scrubber to remove free liquid from
the incoming gas. The scrubber may be two phase for separation of gas and liquids,
or three phase to separate gas, hydrocarbon liquid and water. The gas stream to
the absorber must be free of liquids prior to entering the mass transfer section of
the absorber. A filter separator or coalescer upstream of the absorber will fulfill this
Cold weather protection can be provided for the dehydration unit by the addition of
an enclosure, extra insulation, heat trace or a catalytic heater.

TEG heat exchange is optionally provided by a three-section glycol/glycol heat

exchanger. The heat exchanger is of a fixed tube sheet BEM construction, with
bolted bonnets. The first section preheats the water rich TEG for optimum gas
separation in the low-pressure three-phase separator. The second and third sections
raise the rich TEG from separation temperature to approximately 300 F (for
maximum heat conservation) prior to the inlet of the still column. The lean TEG from
the surge tank provides the heat and is cooled by exchange for pump suction.

The QBJ standard regenerator consists of the re boiler with a fire tube, burner
control assembly, flame arrestor, stack with down draft diverter, still column with
reflux condenser and integral surge accumulator with stripping column. The reflux
condenser, integral to the QBJ still column, aids in the condensation of glycol vapors
and reduces glycol losses. QBJ units are test fired in the shop to verify performance
and reduce startup problems.
The stripping column uses a source of dry gas, usually taken from the dry gas
leaving the absorber to strip additional water out of the regenerated glycol. The
amount of stripping gas varies with the application and dew point depression
requirements from 0.5 SCF/gal. of glycol circulated up to 6 SCF.
Fuel gas and instrument supply gas is usually supplied from the dry gas leaving the
absorber but other sources may be used. A fuel gas scrubber with fuel gas safety
valve is provided to prevent free liquids from entering the fuel gas system.
The regenerator temperature is controlled by the temperature controller and fuel
gas control valve(s) along with a high temperature shutdown.
The glycol pump(s) are provided with valves and strainers. The electric driven
positive displacement pump is provided with a suction stabilizer and pulsation
bottle in the discharge line. A redundant valve system bypasses glycol back to
pump suction for manual flow control of lean TEG. A bypass relief valve is provided
on the discharge of all electric and gas powered pumps.
Standard units are provided with low pressure three phase separator (flash
separator) to separate solution gas (and glycol powered pump energy gas) from the
glycol and hydrocarbon condensate. The flash separator is installed on the rich
glycol line between first pass of the glycol/glycol heat exchanger and the glycol
sock filter. The flash gas is generally routed to the fuel gas system.
Additional Optional Features
1. Enhancelator for 99.5% (wt.) without the use of stripping gas.
2. Standby glycol pump
3. Charcoal filter
4. Flame failure shutdown
5. Low temperature shutdown - glycol re boiler
6. High temperature shutdown - stack
7. High and Low level shutdown - glycol re boiler, surge tank and flash
8. High and Low level shutdown – inlet separation / integral scrubber
9. Cold weather enclosure
10. PLC control and DCS interface

QBJ glycol dehydration units GUARANTEE outlet gas dew points and
unit performance