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Feasibility Study for the Treatment of Kuwait Sour Gas by Membranes

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Yousef Alqaheem* and Abdulaziz Alomair
» doi: 10.48047/ecb/2023.12.12.30


Natural gas is mainly used in Kuwait for power generation and hydroprocessing. Yet, the gas needs to be treated as it contains amounts of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. Amine process is utilized but the unit is energy intensive and suffers from flooding. Alternatively, the membrane can treat natural gas with no flooding issue and lower energy input. In this work, a commercial membrane system was simulated in UniSim® for the removal of Kuwait sour gas having 12 mol% carbon dioxide and 4 mol% hydrogen sulfide. The system was compared to the amine unit in terms of technical and economic points of view. Results show that the membrane system was not capable of reaching the performance of the amine process due to the tradeoff between product purity and gas recovery. The membrane-amine process integration reduced the energy consumption by 15%, yet, the membrane's high capital cost makes the integration uneconomical.

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