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Most operators of natural gas pipelines establish a tariff or contract limit on the moisture content allowed in the pipeline. Dehydration is used to remove moisture from the gas.

The dehydration process removes water vapor in natural gas. Several different methodologies are used to accomplish this, including compression, phase separation, absorption and adsorption. Tri-ethylene glycol contactors and molecular sieve dryers are two of the more common dehydration methods for natural gas.

Moisture measurement is critical to optimize the drying process and ensure that the natural gas is dried to the required specification. Analysis is typically performed at the outlet of the drying process.

With extensive experience in the natural gas industry, we offer multiple measurement technologies for this application, offering excellent measurement accuracy and lower detectable limits. These include quartz crystal microbalance, tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy, and electrolytic solutions.

  • Application +

    Glycol Contactor Efficiency

    Tri-ethylene glycol removes water vapor from natural gas in a glycol contactor tower, preventing corrosion and equipment damage. Accurate measurement of water vapor optimizes the efficiency of this drying process, delivering lower operating costs and ensuring the natural gas meets specifications.

    Recommended products: 5100, 5100HD, 5100P, 3050-OLV

    Custody Transfer

    At the custody transfer location, natural gas is sold from one party to another, and is a measurement point on the network. The quality of the natural gas is contractually defined at the custody transfer point, including limits on moisture and hydrogen sulfide content in the gas, threshold for hydrocarbon dew point temperature, required heating value of the gas, and expected gas compostion.

    Recommended products: 3050-OLV, 5100HD, 5100, 5100P, 241CE II, Chanscope II, Model 13, 933, Ranarex Gravitometer

    Dryer Efficiency and Breakthrough

    Drying by adsorption involves passing the natural gas over a solid desiccant where the water molecules adsorb onto the desiccant material which is commonly molecular sieve, activated alumina or a silica gel. Moisture measurement at the outlet of the molecular sieve dryer optimizes the regeneration cycle, reduces operational expenses and extends plant uptime.

    Recommended products: 3050-DO, 3050-SLR

    Liquids Separation

    Natural gas liquids are separated by fractionation. This requires moisture measurements to prevent contamination and assure final product quality.

    Recommended products: 3050-OLV, 3050-DO, 3050-SLR, 5100HD 

    Transmission Pipelines

    Natural gas is transported along the value chain from processing to end users via a vast network of pipelines.  To ensure the integrity of the mechanical infrastructure and to meet contract or tariff limits, highly accurate, fast-response moisture measurements are required.  In some cases, analysis to standards, such as ASTM D1142, are needed.

    Recommended products: 3050-OLV, 5100HD, 5100, 5100P, Chanscope II, Model 13, Ranarex Gravitometer