Industry & Innovation: ExxonMobil develops new tech to dehydrate natural gas

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Image courtesy of ExxonMobil

US-based energy giant and LNG player ExxonMobil said Thursday it has developed a new technology which dehydrates natural gas.

The new technology named cMIST dehydrates natural gas using a “patented absorption system inside pipes and replaces the need for conventional dehydration tower technology,” ExxonMobil said in its statement.

This “in-line” technology could be deployed at both land-based and offshore natural gas production operations.

According to ExxonMobil, the new technology “more efficiently” removes water vapor present during the production of natural gas.

“Removing water vapor through the use of dehydration technology, typically accomplished using large and expensive dehydration towers, reduces corrosion and equipment interference helping to ensure the safe and efficient transport of natural gas through the supply infrastructure and ultimately to consumers.”

ExxonMobil claims that the technology reduces the size, weight and cost of dehydration, resulting in reductions of surface footprint by 70 percent and the overall dehydration system’s weight by half.

The technology relies on a proprietary droplet generator to break up conventional solvent into tiny droplets that become well dispersed in the gas flow thereby increasing the surface area for the absorption of water from the gas, ExxonMobil noted in the statement.

This is followed by an inline separator that coalesces the water-rich glycol droplets and moves them to the outside wall of the pipe for separation from the dehydrated natural gas.

The water-rich glycol is regenerated using a conventional system and is sent back to the droplet generator to be used again. The droplet generator uses the energy from the flowing natural gas to create droplets of the right size.

ExxonMobil has licensed cMIST technology to the Chemtech division of Sulzer to facilitate deployment across the oil and gas industry.(source: ExxonMobil)

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