Removal of H2S and CO2 from gas streams and liquid hydrocarbon streams is important in many industrial processes. Solutions of aqueous amines have been used for more than 70 years to remove these unwanted acidic components in refineries streams, chemical processing and gas purification. Knowledge of amine treating application has grown from both practical experience and basic scientific research. An understanding of this accumulated technical knowledge is needed to design competitive and economical gas treating plants. This paper gives a brief history of amine treating and describes the fundamentals of treating technology.
An understanding of amine chemistry and the physical properties related to gas treating is required for solvent selection and to take advantage of improvements in gas treating technology. New formulated solvents and tower internals technology offer opportunities for smaller and more energy efficient plants. However contaminants and unwanted side reactions can limit plant efficiency and operability negating these advantages. Use of simulation tools must be done correctly to take advantage of the modeling tool and the latest process technology.