Midstream Operator – Coyanosa Texas, Dec 2021
Black Powder contamination under 5 microns in size was causing costly filter change-outs and reduced efficiency of the Amine system to remove H2S and Co2.
The customer installed a BPS Magnetic Separator (Figure-2) upstream of the coalescer elements with the goal to clean the black powder contamination from the rich amine down to and below 1 micron in particle sizes.
After 4 days of operations, The BPS separator (Figure 1) cleaned a large quantity of black powder contamination (5+ lbs) from the amine system with high efficiency and identified the contamination level was high reducing the efficiency of the system.
- Reduced coalescer element consumption
- Improved activated carbon bed efficiency
- Improved environmental footprint
- Reduced opportunity for injury
Lab Test Results
EDS and XRD Analysis
XRD is used to identify the crystalline compounds found within the contamination. Results are shown in Table 1
The XRD determined the composition of the contamination and showed significant levels of Piperazine Hydrogen Phosphate Hydrate (75.8%). The analysis also showed minor levels of ammonium hydrogen sulphate (15.9%) and ammonium nitrate (5.8%) and trace amounts of ferrous contamination.
The significant amount Piperazine Hydrogen Phosphate Hydrate is an indication of thermal and oxidative degradation. Failure to remove these degradation by-products can result in plugging off equipment, promoting heat stable salts and corrosion of the system. Levels of Ammonium compound are also an indication of amine degradation.
Table 1: Results of XRD Analysis
|Mineral Name||Chem. Formula||Weight %|
|Piperazine Hydrogen Phosphate Hydrate||𝐶4𝐻13𝑁2𝑂4∙𝐻2𝑂||75.8|
|Ammonium Hydrogen Sulfate||(𝑁𝐻4)3(𝐻(𝑆𝑂4)2)||15.9|
|Aluminum Iron Sulfate Hydrate||𝐹𝑒𝐴𝑙(𝑆𝑂4)3(𝐻2𝑂)9||2.4|
PSD Analysis Results
PSD analysis determines the sizes of particles within a solid’s contamination. Figure 3. illustrates the particle size distribution of contamination found within the sample.
- The blue bars are representative of the frequency at which a particle size occurs.
- The left column (Y axis) represents the frequency percentage.
- The orange line is representative of the cumulative total of the particle size.
- The secondary axis (right column) represents the cumulative percentage.
The analysis determined that 25% of the particles were below 4 microns in size and 20% were less than one micron.