Plural Columns Patents (Class 62/630)
  • Patent number: 10634426
    Abstract: A method for production of liquid natural gas (LNG) at natural gas liquids (NGLs) recovery plants that maximizes NGLs recovery by producing LNG and using the produced LNG as an external cooling source to control the operation of a de-methanizer column at the NLG recovery facility. In at least one embodiment, LNG is added from an LNG overhead receiver by direct mixing to control the temperature profile in the NGL de-methanizer column. The temperature in an overhead product of the de-methanizer column is controlled by controlling addition of LNG as a reflux stream. The temperature in an expanded feed gas to the de-methanizer column is controlled by controlling addition of LNG as a tempering gas, while stripping of carbon dioxide from an NGL product stream is controlled by controlling the addition of LNG as stripping gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2020
    Assignees: 1304338 Alberta Ltd, 1304342 Alberta Ltd
    Inventors: Jose Lourenco, MacKenzie Millar
  • Patent number: 10619918
    Abstract: A system for removing freezing components from a feed gas includes a heavy hydrocarbon removal heat exchanger and a scrub device. The scrub device includes a scrub column that receives a cooled feed gas stream from the heat exchanger and a reflux separation device. Vapor from the scrub column is directed to the heat exchanger and cooled to create a reflux stream that includes a liquid component. This reflux stream is directed to the reflux separation device and a resulting liquid component stream is used to reflux the column. Vapor from the reflux separation device is expanded and directed to the heat exchanger, where it provides refrigeration, and a processed feed gas line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2020
    Assignee: Chart Energy & Chemicals, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas A. Ducote, Jr., Timothy P. Gushanas, Mark R. Glanville
  • Patent number: 10604496
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a method comprising the steps of: a) producing a hydrocarbon stream from syngas via a Fischer-Tropsch reaction, wherein the hydrocarbon stream comprises a first C2 hydrocarbon stream comprising ethane and a first ethylene product; b) separating at least a portion of the first C2 hydrocarbon stream from the hydrocarbon stream; c) separating at least a portion of the first ethylene product from the first C2 hydrocarbon stream, thereby producing a second C2 hydrocarbon stream; d) converting at least a portion of the ethane in the second C2 hydrocarbon stream to a second ethylene product; and e) producing ethylene oxide from at least a portion of the second ethylene product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Assignee: SABIC Global Technologies B.V.
    Inventors: Talal Al-Shammari, Khalid Karim, Zeeshan Nawaz, Ali Al-Hammad, Shehzada Khurram, Mubarik Ali Bashir, Labeeb Chaudhary Ahmed, Abdullah Turki Al-Jaloud, Saud Al-Khudeer, Thabet Al-Qahtani
  • Patent number: 10508244
    Abstract: A method of obtaining a liquefied hydrocarbon-rich fraction (product fraction) having a nitrogen content of ?1 mol %, wherein the hydrocarbon-rich fraction is liquefied and subcooled with a refrigeration circuit and then subjected to a rectificative removal of nitrogen is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: LINDE AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT
    Inventors: Heinz Bauer, Michael Warter
  • Patent number: 10458701
    Abstract: This method comprises: forming an expanded intermediate recirculation stream (170) from a liquid (112, 128) obtained during an upstream cooling and/or intermediate cooling step, upstream from the downstream cooling step; circulating the intermediate recirculation stream (170) at least in an upstream heat exchanger (42) to cool an upstream stream of cracked gas (102); reintroducing the reheated intermediate recirculation stream (170) in a raw cracked gas (20) upstream from at least one compressor (36, 38) of a cooling and compression stage (24). The upstream, intermediate and downstream cooling steps is carried out without a heat exchanger respectively of an upstream stream of cracked gas (102), an intermediate stream of cracked gas (114) and a downstream stream of cracked gas (140) with an external refrigeration cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: TECHNIP FRANCE
    Inventors: Bruno Destour, Yvon Simon, Aurélia Dadou, David Chazallet
  • Patent number: 10294177
    Abstract: Provided is a method for preparing ethylene with improved energy efficiency which can reduce energy due to direct heat exchange between processes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: LG CHEM, LTD.
    Inventors: Sung-Kyun Kim, Sung-Kyu Lee, Tae-Woo Kim, Joon-Ho Shin, Yeon-Uk Choo, Sa-Eun Park
  • Patent number: 10006698
    Abstract: A process that is configured for treating natural gas mixed with carbon dioxide (CO2) in high concentrations of 30% mole by volume or more. In one embodiment, the process comprises contacting a first feedstream comprising liquid natural gas (LNG) with a feedstock comprising methane to form an overhead product comprising methane vapor and a bottom product comprising carbon dioxide (CO2). The embodiment can also comprise liquefying the methane vapor to form a LNG product and using the LNG product as the liquid natural gas (LNG) in the first feedstream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: GE Oil & Gas, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher Scott Yount, John Raymond Zigtema
  • Patent number: 10006699
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for denitrogenation of natural gas by distillation, in which natural gas cooled in an exchange line is separated in a system of columns including at least one column, a nitrogen-enriched gas is drawn from one column of the system of columns and is heated in the exchange line, a methane-enriched liquid is drawn from one column of the system of columns, pressurized and vaporized in the exchange line at at least one vaporization pressure, and at least one portion of the cooled natural gas expands in gaseous form in a turbine and is sent to one column of the system of columns in gaseous form.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: L'AIR LIQUIDE SOCIETE ANONYME POUR L'ETUDE ET L'EXPLOITATION DES PROCEDES GEORGES CLAUDE
    Inventors: Alain Briglia, Selim Chouik
  • Patent number: 9777960
    Abstract: An NGL recovery facility utilizing a single, closed-loop mixed refrigerant cycle for recovering a substantial portion of the C2 and heavier or C3 and heavier NGL components from the incoming gas stream. Less severe operating conditions, including a warmer refrigerant temperature and a lower feed gas pressure, contribute to a more economical and efficient NGL recovery system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2017
    Assignee: BLACK & VEATCH HOLDING COMPANY
    Inventors: Kevin L. Currence, Robert A. Mortko
  • Patent number: 9631864
    Abstract: A method and apparatus of removing heavy hydrocarbons from a natural gas feed stream, the method comprising using first and second hydrocarbon removal systems in series such that the first system processes the natural gas feed stream to produce a heavy hydrocarbon depleted natural gas stream and the second system processes at least a portion of the heavy hydrocarbon depleted natural gas stream from the first system to produce a natural gas stream lean in heavy hydrocarbons, wherein one of said systems is a adsorption system that comprises one or more beds of adsorbent for adsorbing and thereby removing heavy hydrocarbons from a heavy hydrocarbon containing natural gas, and the other of said systems is a gas-liquid separation system for separating a heavy hydrocarbon containing natural gas into a heavy hydrocarbon depleted natural gas vapor and a heavy hydrocarbon enriched liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    Inventors: Fei Chen, Xukun Luo, Christopher Michael Ott, Mark Julian Roberts, Gowri Krishnamurthy
  • Patent number: 9557103
    Abstract: Contemplated plants for flexible ethane recovery and rejection by allowing to switch the top reflux to the demethanizer from residue gas to the deethanizer overhead product and by controlling the flow ratio of feed gas to two different feed gas exchangers. Moreover, the pressure of the demethanizer is adjusted relative to the deethanizer pressure for control of the ethane recovery and rejection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2017
    Assignee: Fluor Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: John Mak
  • Patent number: 9175905
    Abstract: This process comprises using unconventional processing of hydrocarbons, e.g. natural gas, for recovering C2+ and NGL hydrocarbons that meet pipeline specifications, without the core high capital cost requirement of a demethanizer column, which is central to and required by almost 100% of the world's current NGL recovery technologies. It can operate in Ethane Extraction or Ethane Rejection modes. The process uses only heat exchangers, compression and simple separation vessels to achieve specification ready NGL. The process utilizes cooling the natural gas, expansion cooling, separating the gas and liquid streams, recycling the cooled streams to exchange heat and recycling selective composition bearing streams to achieve selective extraction of hydrocarbons, in this instance being NGLs. The compactness and utility of this process makes it feasible in offshore applications as well as to implementation to retrofit/revamp or unload existing NGL facilities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2015
    Inventors: Kirtikumar Natubhai Patel, Rohit N. Patel
  • Patent number: 9103585
    Abstract: Contemplated plants for recovery of NGL from natural gas employ alternate reflux streams in a first column and a residue gas bypass stream, wherein expansion of various process streams provides substantially all of the refrigeration duty in the plant. Contemplated plants not only have flexible recovery of ethane between 2% and 90% while recovering at least 99% of propane, but also reduce and more typically eliminate the need for external refrigeration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2015
    Assignee: FLUOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventor: John Mak
  • Publication number: 20150143845
    Abstract: A distillation apparatus includes a first distillation column and one or more second distillation columns. A higher-pressure part of the first distillation column includes at least part of a rectifying section, and performs gas-liquid contact at a relatively high pressure. A lower pressure-part of the first distillation column includes at least part of a stripping section and performs gas-liquid contact at a relatively low pressure. A vapor line, which includes a pressurizing means, directs a vapor discharged from a column top of the lower-pressure part to a column bottom of the higher-pressure part. A liquid line directs a liquid discharged from the column bottom of the higher-pressure part to the column top of the lower pressure part. Corresponding heat exchange structures transfer heat in both directions between the rectifying section of the first distillation column and at least one second distillation column.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 20, 2014
    Publication date: May 28, 2015
    Inventors: Toshihiro Wakabayashi, Takato Nakao
  • Patent number: 9021832
    Abstract: A process and an apparatus are disclosed for recovering ethane, ethylene, and heavier hydrocarbon components from a hydrocarbon gas stream. The stream is cooled, expanded to lower pressure, and supplied to a first fractionation tower at a mid-column feed position. A distillation liquid stream is withdrawn from the first fractionation tower below the feed position of the expanded stream, heated, and directed into a second fractionation tower that produces an overhead vapor stream and a bottom liquid stream. The overhead vapor stream is cooled to condense it, with a portion of the condensed stream directed to the second fractionation tower as its top feed and the remainder directed to the first fractionation tower at a lower column feed position. The bottom liquid stream from the second fractionation tower is cooled and directed to the first fractionation tower as its top feed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Ortloff Engineers, Ltd.
    Inventors: Michael C. Pierce, John D. Wilkinson, Hank M. Hudson
  • Patent number: 8959952
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for separating a mixture comprising at least carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and methane. According to said method, the mixture is separated by a first separating means, at least one liquid fraction of the chamber of the separating means is sent to a product stripper, and at least part of the liquid fraction is sent from the product stripper to a CO/CH4 separating column in order to produce a methane-enriched liquid flow and a gaseous flow enriched with carbon monoxide. The process is carried out under cold conditions at least partially as a result of a carbon monoxide cycle, said cycle at least partially ensuring the condensation at the top of the CO/CH4 separating column and/or the reboiling in the chamber of the product stripper and/or the reboiling in the chamber of the CO/CH4 separating column and/or the cooling of the mixture for the first separating means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: L'Air Liquide, Societe Anonyme pour l'Etude et l'Exploitation des Procedes Georges Claude
    Inventors: Arthur Darde, Natacha Haik-Beraud, Antoine Hernandez, Guillaume Teixeira
  • Patent number: 8910495
    Abstract: Devices and methods for retrofitting a natural gas liquids plant are contemplated to extend recovery of C3+ hydrocarbons from various feed gases to recovery of C2+ and C3+ hydrocarbons. In especially preferred aspects, dedicated C2+ exchangers are integrated to exclusively cool the feed gas to produce a cooled absorber feed and to produce two separate absorber reflux streams. During C2+ recovery, absorber reflux is provided by a portion of the residue gas and a portion of the feed gas, while during C3+ recovery absorber and distillation column reflux are provided by the distillation column overhead product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: Fluor Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: John Mak
  • Patent number: 8840707
    Abstract: A gas condensate production plant comprises a plurality of separation units in which C2 and/or C3 lighter components are stripped from the separator feeds using compressed heated stripping vapor produced from the feed in respective downstream separation units. Contemplated plants substantially reduce heating and cooling duties by using the waste heat from the compressor discharges in the separation process. Furthermore, the multi-stage fractionation according to the inventive subject matter provides improved gas condensate recovery at reduced energy costs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: Fluor Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: John Mak
  • Publication number: 20140238076
    Abstract: Methods and systems for removing nitrogen during liquefaction of natural are provided. Methods of removing nitrogen include warming a predominantly methane stream in a methane cold box to provide a warmed predominantly methane stream; conducting at least a portion of the warmed predominantly methane stream from the methane cold box to a nitrogen removal unit comprising at least a first nitrogen removal column and a last nitrogen removal column, wherein the first nitrogen removal column is located upstream of the last nitrogen removal column; passing the warmed predominantly methane stream through the last nitrogen removal column to provide a refluxed warmed predominantly methane stream; and routing at least a portion of the refluxed warmed predominantly methane stream to the last nitrogen removal column.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 25, 2013
    Publication date: August 28, 2014
    Applicant: CONOCOPHILLIPS COMPANY
    Inventors: Wesley Roy QUALLS, Qi MA, Megan Victoria EVANS, Karl Lee HERZOG, Jame YAO, Mohan CHAHAL, Matt Calvin GENTRY, Attilio Jose PRADERIO, Marc Thomas BELLOMY, Satish GANDHI, Mike WILKES, Will JAMES
  • Patent number: 8794029
    Abstract: A process for separating hydrocarbons from an LNG, including the steps of: distilling a feed LNG in a first distillation column to separate it into a fraction enriched with methane and a fraction enriched with components heavier than methane; distilling the fraction enriched with components heavier than methane in a second distillation column to separate it into a fraction enriched with ethane and a fraction enriched with components heavier than ethane; recovering the cryogenic heat of the feed LNG to be fed into the first distillation column or of the liquid inside the first distillation column by using a heat transfer medium; and cooling the overhead gas of the second distillation column by using the heat transfer medium which has recovered the cryogenic heat to condense at least part of the overhead gas of the second distillation column. An apparatus for carrying out this process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Toyo Engineering Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Yokohata, Shoichi Yamaguchi, Akihiko Tamakoshi
  • Patent number: 8794031
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for resolving a hydrocarbon-rich, nitrogen-containing feed fraction (1, 1?), preferably natural gas, is described, wherein the feed fraction (1, 1?) is separated by rectification (T1, T2) into a nitrogen-enriched fraction (5) and a hydrocarbon-rich, nitrogen-depleted fraction (10), and wherein the separation by rectification proceeds in a rectification column consisting of a preseparation column (T1) and a main separation column (T2). A liquid fraction (6) is taken off from the main separation column (T2) above the feed-in site(s) of the fraction (7, 7?, 7?) that is taken off from the preseparation column (T1) and fed to the main separation column (T2), and the liquid fraction (6) is applied to the preseparation column (T1) as reflux.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Linde Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Heinz Bauer, Georg Schopfer, Jurgen Witte
  • Publication number: 20140182331
    Abstract: The invention relates to an integrated process and apparatus for liquefaction of natural gas and recovery of natural gas liquids. In particular, the improved process and apparatus reduces the energy consumption of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) unit by using a portion of the already cooled overhead vapor from a fractionation column from an NGL (natural gas liquefaction) unit to, depending upon composition, provide, for example, reflux for fractionation in the NGL unit and/or a cold feed for the LNG unit, or by cooling, within the NGL unit, a residue gas originating from a fractionation column of the NGL unit and using the resultant cooled residue gas to, depending upon composition, provide, for example, reflux/feed for fractionation in the NGL and/or a cold feed for the LNG unit, thereby reducing the energy consumption of the LNG unit and rendering the process more energy-efficient.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 30, 2013
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: LINDE PROCESS PLANTS, INC.
    Inventors: Stephan BURMBERGER, Danielle R. GOLDBECK, Christoph HERTEL, Aleisha MARTY, Heinz BAUER, Ronald D. KEY
  • Patent number: 8695376
    Abstract: Contemplated plant configurations and methods employ a vaporized and supercritical LNG stream at an intermediate temperature that is expanded, wherein refrigeration content of the expanded LNG is used to chill one or more recompressor feed streams and to condense a demethanizer reflux. One portion of the so warmed and expanded LNG is condensed and fed to the demethanizer as reflux, while the other portion is expanded and fed to the demethanizer as feed stream. Most preferably, the demethanizer overhead is combined with a portion of the vaporized and supercritical LNG stream to form a pipeline product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Fluor Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: John Mak
  • Patent number: 8677780
    Abstract: Contemplated gas treatment plants for recovery of NGL from rich feed gas include an upstream conditioning unit in which heavier hydrocarbons, and most typically C5 and heavier are removed prior to feeding the processed feed gas to an NGL recovery plant, thus avoiding the need to process the heavier hydrocarbons in the NGL recovery plant. Such conditioning units advantageously reduce energy demand for dehydration otherwise required and allow for production of C2-C4, and C5+ streams that can be sold as valuable products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Fluor Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: John Mak
  • Publication number: 20140075987
    Abstract: A low cost and efficient design is used to convert a propane recovery process based on low nitrogen content feed gas to an ethane recovery process based on a high nitrogen feed gas while achieving over 95 mole % ethane recovery while maintaining a 99% propane recovery, and achieved without additional equipment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2013
    Publication date: March 20, 2014
    Applicant: FLUOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventor: John Mak
  • Publication number: 20140069142
    Abstract: A system and method for removing nitrogen and producing a high pressure methane product stream from natural gas feed streams is disclosed. A system for also producing natural gas liquids in conjunction with nitrogen removal from natural gas feed streams is also disclosed. The system and method of the invention are particularly suitable for use with feed streams in excess of 50 MMSCFD and up to 750 MMSCFD and containing up to 75 ppm carbon dioxide. Typical power requirements for compressing the methane product stream to produce a suitably high pressure stream for sale are reduced according to the system and method of the invention.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 14, 2013
    Publication date: March 13, 2014
    Applicant: Butts Properties, Ltd.
    Inventor: Rayburn C. Butts
  • Publication number: 20140060114
    Abstract: A natural gas two-column processing plant allows for recovery of at least 95% of C4 and heavier hydrocarbons, and about 60 to 80% of C3 hydrocarbons from a rich feed gas stream in which the first column (absorber) operates at a higher pressure than the second column, with the absorber receiving a compressed gas from the second column, and a turboexpander discharging a two-phase stream to the top of the absorber. Most typically, contemplated configurations and methods operate without the use of external refrigeration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 29, 2013
    Publication date: March 6, 2014
    Applicant: Fluor Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: John Mak
  • Patent number: 8640495
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for producing a carbon monoxide-containing product from a feed containing hydrogen, carbon monoxide, methane, nitrogen and optionally argon. The carbon monoxide-containing product is produced using a hydrogen stripping column for forming a hydrogen-enriched vapor and a hydrogen-freed liquid, a nitrogen separation fractionator for forming a nitrogen-enriched vapor and a nitrogen-depleted liquid containing carbon monoxide and methane from the hydrogen-freed liquid, and a carbon monoxide/methane separation fractionator for forming the carbon monoxide containing product and a methane-enriched liquid from the nitrogen-depleted liquid. At least part of the nitrogen separation fractionator condenser duty provides the feed vaporization duty and reboiler duty for the carbon monoxide/methane separation fractionator, thereby reducing the energy requirement for the separation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Ait Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    Inventor: Brian Alfred McNeil
  • Patent number: 8627681
    Abstract: A process for recovery of natural gas liquids is disclosed, the process including: fractionating a gas stream comprising nitrogen, methane, ethane, and propane and other C3+ hydrocarbons into at least two fractions including a light fraction comprising nitrogen, methane, ethane, and propane, and a heavy fraction comprising propane and other C3+ hydrocarbons; separating the light fraction into at least two fractions including a nitrogen-enriched fraction and a nitrogen-depleted fraction in a first separator; separating the nitrogen-depleted fraction into a propane-enriched fraction and a propane-depleted fraction in a second separator; feeding at least a portion of the propane-enriched fraction to the fractionating as a reflux; recycling at least a portion of the propane-depleted fraction to the first separator. In some embodiments, the nitrogen-enriched fraction may be separated in a nitrogen removal unit to produce a nitrogen-depleted natural gas stream and a nitrogen-enriched natural gas stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: Lummus Technology Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Malsam
  • Patent number: 8590340
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for the recovery of ethane, ethylene, propane, propylene, and heavier hydrocarbon components from a hydrocarbon gas stream is disclosed. The stream is cooled and divided into first and second streams. The first stream is further cooled to condense substantially all of it and is thereafter expanded to the pressure of a fractionation tower and supplied to the fractionation tower at a first mid-column feed position. The second stream is expanded to the tower pressure and is then supplied to the column at a second mid-column feed position. A distillation vapor stream is withdrawn from the column below the feed point of the first stream and compressed to an intermediate pressure, and is then directed into heat exchange relation with the tower overhead vapor stream to cool the distillation stream and condense substantially all of it, forming a condensed stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Ortoff Engineers, Ltd.
    Inventors: Richard N. Pitman, John D. Wilkinson, Joe T. Lynch, Hank M. Hudson, Tony L. Martinez
  • Patent number: 8555671
    Abstract: A method of conditioning natural gas in preparation for storage, involves taking an existing stream of continuously flowing natural gas flowing through a gas line (12) on its way to end users and diverting a portion of the stream of continuously flowing natural gas to a storage facility through a storage diversion line (22). The pressure of the natural gas is lowered, as is the temperature by the Joule-Thompson effect. The natural gas is passed in a single pass through a series of heat exchangers (18, 28,30, 32) prior to resuming flow through the gas line (12) at the lowered pressure. The diverted natural gas is liquefied in preparation for storage by effecting a heat exchange with the natural gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Inventors: Jose Lourenco, MacKenzie Millar
  • Publication number: 20130213088
    Abstract: Methods and systems for separating hydrocarbons using one or more dividing wall columns are provided. The method can include introducing a hydrocarbon fluid to a first dividing wall column. A first overhead comprising methane, ethane, or a combination thereof, a first intermediate comprising ethane, a second intermediate comprising ethane, and a first bottoms comprising one or more hydrocarbons having three or more carbon atoms per molecule can be recovered from the first dividing wall column. The first overhead can be introduced to a process for producing a liquefied natural gas. The first bottoms can be introduced to a second dividing wall column. A second overhead comprising propane, a third intermediate comprising butane, and a second bottoms comprising one or more hydrocarbons having five or more carbon atoms per molecule can be recovered from the second dividing wall column. The second overhead can be introduced to the process for producing a liquefied natural gas.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 16, 2012
    Publication date: August 22, 2013
    Applicant: KELLOGG BROWN & ROOT LLC
    Inventors: Elena Stylianou, Myrian Andrea Schenk
  • Patent number: 8505333
    Abstract: An LNG facility employing an optimized heavies removal system. The optimized heavies removal system can comprise at least one distillation column and at least two separate heat exchangers. The heat exchangers can be operable to heat a liquid stream withdrawn from a distillation column to thereby provide predominantly vapor and/or liquid streams that can be reintroduced into the column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Assignee: ConocoPhilips Company
    Inventors: Megan V. Evans, Attilio J. Praderio, Lisa M. Strassle, Mohan S. Chahal, Matthew C. Gentry, Wesley R. Qualls, Marc T. Bellomy, James L. Rockwell
  • Patent number: 8434325
    Abstract: A process for the recovery of heavier hydrocarbons from a liquefied natural gas (LNG) stream and a hydrocarbon gas stream is disclosed. The LNG feed stream is heated to vaporize at least part of it, then expanded and supplied to a fractionation column at a first mid-column feed position. The gas stream is expanded and cooled, then supplied to the column at a second mid-column feed position. A distillation vapor stream is withdrawn from the fractionation column below the mid-column feed positions and directed in heat exchange relation with the LNG feed stream, cooling the distillation vapor stream as it supplies at least part of the heating of the LNG feed stream. The distillation vapor stream is cooled sufficiently to condense at least a part of it, forming a condensed stream. At least a portion of the condensed stream is directed to the fractionation column as its top feed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2013
    Assignee: Ortloff Engineers, Ltd.
    Inventors: Tony L. Martinez, John D. Wilkinson, Hank M. Hudson, Kyle T. Cuellar
  • Patent number: 8413463
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an improved process for recovery of natural gas liquids from a natural gas feed stream. The process runs at a constant pressure with no intentional reduction in pressure. An open loop mixed refrigerant is used to provide process cooling and to provide a reflux stream for the distillation column used to recover the natural gas liquids. The processes may be used to recover C3+ hydrocarbons from natural gas, or to recover C2+ hydrocarbons from natural gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Lummus Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Malsam
  • Publication number: 20130046121
    Abstract: Process and systems for converting lower molecular weight alkanes to higher molecular weight hydrocarbons that include recovery of residual halogenated hydrocarbons (e.g., CH3Br) from higher molecular weight hydrocarbon products.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 18, 2011
    Publication date: February 21, 2013
    Applicant: MARATHON GTF TECHNOLOGY, LTD.
    Inventors: Sabah A. Kurukchi, Yijun Liu, Anand Moodley
  • Publication number: 20120324943
    Abstract: A system and method for removing nitrogen and producing a high pressure methane product stream from natural gas feed streams is disclosed. A system for also producing natural gas liquids in conjunction with nitrogen removal from natural gas feed streams is also disclosed. The system and method of the invention are particularly suitable for use with feed streams in excess of 50 MMSCFD and up to 750 MMSCFD and containing up to 75 ppm carbon dioxide. Typical power requirements for compressing the methane product stream to produce a suitably high pressure stream for sale are reduced according to the system and method of the invention.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 21, 2011
    Publication date: December 27, 2012
    Inventor: Rayburn C. Butts
  • Patent number: 8316665
    Abstract: Contemplated plants thermally integrate operation of a refinery component, and most preferably of a hydrocarbon splitter with LNG regasification to provide refrigeration duty and with a power cycle to provide the reboiler duty of the component. It should be noted that such configurations advantageously allow operation of the splitter at a reduced temperature and at reduced pressure, thereby increasing separation efficiency, while the power output is boosted using air intake chilling. Most notably, such process advantages are achieved by satisfying the heating duty of LNG regasification.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Fluor Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: John Mak
  • Patent number: 8307671
    Abstract: A modified purifier process, includes supplying a first stream of a feed gas containing hydrogen and nitrogen in a mol ratio of about 2:1, and also containing methane and argon, then cryogenically separating the feed gas into the following: f) a second stream of synthesis gas containing hydrogen and nitrogen in a mol ratio of about 3:1, g) waste gas containing principally nitrogen, and also containing some hydrogen and all of the methane supplied in the first stream, and splitting the waste gas into: h) a third stream of hydrogen/nitrogen gas i) a fourth stream of high concentrated nitrogen j) a fifth stream of methane rich gas, to be used as fuel. The combined second and third streams typically are passed to an ammonia synthesis process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Inventor: Robert R. J. Jungerhans
  • Publication number: 20120233920
    Abstract: The invention provides a process for recovering a light hydrocarbon, such as ethane, from a sour hydrocarbon gas. The process involves mixing the sour hydrocarbon gas with an azeotrope inhibitor and then passing the mixture into a first distillation column. The first distillation column is operated under a set of temperature and pressure conditions in which the light hydrocarbon is substantially separated from the mixture as an overhead vapour product. The sour species in the mixture can be recovered by passing the bottoms liquid product into a second distillation column under a second set of temperature and pressure conditions in which the sour species is separated as a second overhead vapour product.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 19, 2010
    Publication date: September 20, 2012
    Applicant: IOR Technology PTY LTD
    Inventors: Robert Amin, Ahmed Barifcani
  • Patent number: 8256243
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for the integration of a fractionation process and an olefin refrigeration system, wherein the fractionation process olefin effluent is supplied to the refrigeration system, can eliminate a fractionation process condenser and reflux drum typically present. A plurality of bottoms streams can be collected from the fractionation process. The olefin refrigerant can be supplied to alternate olefin refrigerant consumers, as desired. A column in the fractionation process can be refluxed with an olefin stream from refrigeration system, and olefin product can be collected or exported via line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: Kellogg Brown & Root LLC
    Inventor: Vijender Kumar Verma
  • Patent number: 8209997
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an improved process for recovery of natural gas liquids from a natural gas feed stream. The process runs at a constant pressure with no intentional reduction in pressure. An open loop mixed refrigerant is used to provide process cooling and to provide a reflux stream for the distillation column used to recover the natural gas liquids. The processes may be used to recover C3+ hydrocarbons from natural gas, or to recover C2+ hydrocarbons from natural gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignee: Lummus Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Malsam
  • Patent number: 8209996
    Abstract: Contemplated plants include an absorber in which the split ratio of various feed streams to an absorber are used to control recovery of a desired component in a bottom product of a distillation column that receives the bottom product of the absorber. In especially preferred aspects, the plant is an NGL plant and the split ratio of the feed streams used to control the level of desired ethane recovery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignee: Fluor Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: John Mak
  • Publication number: 20120067081
    Abstract: A plant for producing an argon-rich stream from a mixture formed by a purge fluid in an ammonia production plant comprises: at least one phase separator; a methane scrubbing column; a methane separation column; a nitrogen/argon separation column; a line for sending the mixture into at least one phase separator, to produce at least a hydrogen-enriched gas and a hydrogen-depleted liquid; a line for sending at least a portion of the hydrogen-depleted liquid into the bottom of the methane scrubbing column, to form an overhead gas and a bottoms liquid; a line for sending at least a portion of the bottoms liquid from the methane scrubbing column to the methane separation column, to produce a methane-enriched bottoms liquid and a methane-depleted overhead gas; a line for sending at least a portion of the methane-depleted overhead gas to the nitrogen/argon separation column, to form a nitrogen-enriched fluid as overhead of said column; a line for withdrawing an argon-rich liquid as bottoms of said column, serving as
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 3, 2010
    Publication date: March 22, 2012
    Applicant: L'Air Liquide Societe Anonyme Pour L'Etude Et L'Exploitatin Des Procedes Georges Claude
    Inventors: Alain Briglia, Antonie Hernandez, Bemard Saulnier, Laurent Samy, Jean-Marc Tsevery, Marie-Pascal Victor
  • Publication number: 20120000246
    Abstract: A process for the recovery of heavier hydrocarbons from a liquefied natural gas (LNG) stream and a hydrocarbon gas stream is disclosed. The LNG feed stream is heated to vaporize at least part of it, then expanded and supplied to a fractionation column at a first mid-column feed position. The gas stream is expanded and cooled, then supplied to the column at a second mid-column feed position. A distillation vapor stream is withdrawn from the fractionation column below the mid-column feed positions and directed in heat exchange relation with the LNG feed stream, cooling the distillation vapor stream as it supplies at least part of the heating of the LNG feed stream. The distillation vapor stream is cooled sufficiently to condense at least a part of it, forming a condensed stream. At least a portion of the condensed stream is directed to the fractionation column as its top feed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 15, 2009
    Publication date: January 5, 2012
    Applicant: Ortloff Engineers, Ltd.
    Inventors: Tony L. Martinez, John D. Wilkinson, Hank M. Hudson, Kyle T. Cuellar
  • Patent number: 8080701
    Abstract: A method of treating a hydrocarbon stream such as natural gas comprising at least the steps of: (a) providing a hydrocarbon feed stream (10); (b) passing the feed stream (10) through a first separation vessel (12) to provide a first gaseous stream (20) and a first liquid stream (30); (c) passing the first gaseous stream (20) from step (b) through a high pressure separation vessel (14) to provide a second gaseous stream (40) and a second liquid stream (80); (d) maintaining the pressure of the first gaseous stream (20) between step (b) and step (c) within +10 bar; (e) passing the first liquid stream (30) of step (b) through a stabilizer column (16) to provide a third gaseous stream (60) and a stabilized condensate (70); and (f) feeding the second liquid stream (80) from step (c) into the stabilizer column (16).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2011
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventors: Robert Klein Nagel Voort, Wouter Jan Meiring
  • Patent number: 8075742
    Abstract: An apparatus and process for the separation of refrigerant mixtures is provided. The apparatus includes a first distillation column, a first condenser, and a first collection vessel. The apparatus also includes a sorter vessel that includes a sorter agent, wherein the sorter vessel is fluidly connected to the first distillation column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2011
    Assignee: Midwest Refrigerants, LLC
    Inventor: Gregorio Tarancon, III
  • Publication number: 20110277500
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for the separation of a hydrocarbon-rich, nitrogen-containing feed fraction (1, 101), preferably natural gas, wherein the feed fraction (1, 101) is at least in part liquefied (E1, E2) and divided by rectification (T1) into a nitrogen-enriched fraction (14, 110) and a hydrocarbon-rich, nitrogen-depleted fraction (11, 111) and wherein, in the upper region of the rectification (T1), a nitrogen-enriched stream (14) is taken off, cooled (E3) and applied (20) at least in part to the rectification (T1) as reflux and/or the nitrogen-enriched fraction (110) is cooled and partially condensed (E3), applied at least in part to the rectification (T1) as reflux (115) and the remaining stream (116) of the nitrogen-enriched fraction (110) is subjected to a double-column process (T3).
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 11, 2011
    Publication date: November 17, 2011
    Applicant: LINDE AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT
    Inventors: Heinz Bauer, Martin Gwinner, Daniel Garthe
  • Publication number: 20110209499
    Abstract: A process is described for separating off a nitrogen-rich fraction from a feed fraction containing essentially nitrogen and hydrocarbons, wherein the feed fraction is separated by rectification into a nitrogen-rich fraction and a methane-rich fraction and wherein the methane-rich fraction for the purpose of cold generation is vaporized and superheated at a pressure as high as possible against the feed fraction which is to be cooled. According to the invention the still liquid or partially vaporized methane-rich fraction (5?) is fed to a circulation vessel (D), only the liquid fraction of the methane-rich fraction (5?) occurring in the circulation vessel (D) is completely vaporized, preferably in natural circulation, and the top product (7) of the circulation vessel (D) is superheated (E1).
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 3, 2009
    Publication date: September 1, 2011
    Applicant: Linde Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Heinz Bauer, Rainer Sapper, Martin Gwinner, Georg Schopfer
  • Publication number: 20110138854
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for treating hydrogen sulfide rich sour gas through a series of fractionation columns. The processes disclosed herein and the variations thereof provide optimized processes for the removal of hydrogen sulfide from sour gas through the introduction of innovative azeotrope breakers, novel configurations of process equipment, and optimized operating conditions. Advantages of certain embodiments of the present invention include reduced equipment requirements, improved process efficiencies, reduced operating costs, and reduced capital costs. Other advantages include better process suitability to certain environmental conditions such as the arctic cold when compared to conventional amine treatment processes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 2, 2010
    Publication date: June 16, 2011
    Applicant: CONOCOPHILLIPS COMPANY
    Inventors: Shawn S. Huang, Douglas Elliot, Jame Yao, Wei Yan, Naushad A. Kassamali, Mark S. Elkins