Natural Gas Processing Efficiency by Chemical Engineering Students

The dehydration process is one of the important processes in the industrial world, especially natural gas. This process is used to reduce the water content contained in natural gas.

Excess water content can have a bad impact on the piping because it can cause corrosion (rust) and the formation of hydrates that can clog the pipe flow.

Currently, in the natural gas industry, the dehydration process still uses Triethylene Glycol (TEG). However, this process is still less efficient and can cause glycol loss.

This loss of glycol can be detrimental because glycol plays an important role in the dehydration process. In order to maintain a sufficient amount of glycol, production costs can also be increased.

Determined to improve this phenomenon, five students of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Brawijaya made a device that can be used in the dehydration process, DEAHIBRIT.

Supervised by Supriyono S.T., M.T., the five students were Amanda Sahda Qonita, Salza Amalya Putri Ari Budiyanto, Akmal Estu Wijaya, Terisa Erlinda Dewani, and Febriyanti Solichatu Afiyah.

Amanda as the team leader explained that she and the team innovated by replacing TEG with silica-sodium polyacrylate hybrid particles and also activated carbon which would later be inserted in an adsorber column.

“This is quite challenging because it has never been done before,” she said.

The sodium polyacrylate, she continued, was chosen because it has a greater absorption capacity for water, while the silica will work to protect the sodium polyacrylate from melting under acidic conditions.

Another team member, Salza, added that for the natural gas they use synthetic natural gas from biogas and carbon dioxide which will be mixed together.

“The process of mixing the two compounds is carried out in the mixer column contained in our tool,” she said.

Her colleague, Akmal, said that DEAHIBRIT consists of a board equipped with a hose, an adsorber column, a mixer column, a flow meter, and a manometer.

The use of DEAHIBRIT is proven to provide maximum results for reducing the water content of natural gas.

“Our tool can provide very high efficiency of 98.49% with a flow rate of 0.1 L/minute at 40 minutes. So that with a high level of efficiency, it can provide high purity as well,” add Terisa explained it.

This tool is also more economical, the materials used can be regenerated and do not cause glycol loss.

“It is hoped that DEAHIBRIT can be applied to the natural gas industry in Indonesia,” Febriyanti hoped to represent the team. (humasft)