Measuring water in glycol during glycol dehydration

Process analysis - Oil & Gas

Real-time monitoring of water levels using a solid state FTIR-based sensor

For the Oil & Gas industry, glycol dehydration is a key process in the production of liquid petrochemical products.  Standard methods of measuring water in glycols have their challenges that force many to juggle speed of results versus expense and accuracy. Manufacturers are looking for a better way to monitor this process. Keit has developed the solid-state IRmadillo™ FTIR spectrometer for in situ monitoring of industrial processes to provide continuous real-time results.

IRmadillo and Analysis of MEG & TEG

The Keit IRmadillo is an innovative solid-state technology certified safe for use in hazardous environments.  This makes it ideal for application in petrochemical manufacturing.

But, how well can it measure water in glycols?

The IRmadillo was used to analyse individual samples of monoethylene glycol (MEG) and triethylene glycol (TEG) with known concentrations of water.  Samples were acquired and spectra were used to build chemometric models. The data were analysed using orthogonal signal correction (OSC) and partial least squares (PLS) models to predict the concentrations in real time.

IRmadillo water in MEG

IRmadillo water in TEG

Figures 1 & 2 – Plots of measured values vs reference values for water in MEG (top) and TEG (bottom)

After analysis, the results show that the IRmadillo produced results showing an excellent correlation between the measured and reference samples. This means that the IRmadillo can accurately measure the water concentration with great precision.

In fact, the results showed that it is possible for the Keit IRmadillo to monitor drying of MEG and TEG to >99.985 and 99.990 % respectively.

Figure 3: A simplified schematic showing the glycol dehydration process and possible insertion points of the IRmadillo

Conclusions

The IRmadillo™ is an effective, accurate and precise sensor for measuring water in glycols. It has been demonstrated directly for monoethylene glycol and triethylene glycol, but the technique is applicable to any glycol dehydration mix. It is possible to monitor water contents to 139 ppm in MEG and 96 ppm in TEG.

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