Co-extraction of water vapor and helium from natural gas
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A study of the sorption properties of a composite sorbent prepared from pseudoboehmite and synthetic sodium-borosilicate glass microspheres was performed with the aim of using the sorbent in membrane-sorption processes of helium extraction from natural gas with its simultaneous drying. Experimentally, permeability of the composite sorbent under study with respect to helium and its impermeability to air and methane has been demonstrated. Under experimental conditions, the absolute moisture content of the gas mixture having passed through the sorbent has reduced from 21.1 to 0.013 g/m3. The rate of helium adsorption by the composite sorbent has increased nearly by two orders of magnitude in comparison with the initial microspheres. It was found that the degree of saturation of the sorbent with water vapor had almost no influence on the rate of helium adsorption. A possibility of optimal use of the composite sorbent by combining the process of natural-gas drying from water vapor and the process of helium extraction from natural gas is shown. This possibility permits shortening of the process sequence for natural gas pre-conditioning prior to helium extraction.
Keywordscomposite sorbent microspheres permeability helium natural gas drying gas separation
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