Natural Gas Separators

Separators for Natural Gas (also called Knock Out Pot, or Mist Eliminator) are pressure vessels in place for the removal of the larger size liquid particles (water and hydrocarbon) usually present in the natural gas in its untreated stages. These larger particles make up for most of the volume of contaminants in the natural gas flow.  Inside a Separator, the natural gas stream is forced through several physical mechanisms: baffles, impact and deflection plates, mesh pad, vane pack, to agglomerate droplets and aerosols and remove them from the stream, precipitating the liquids in the bottom of the vessel. The combination of factor such as the proper size, connections, and configuration, will result in the appropriate performance of the Separator for the specific operating conditions in your project.

Natural Gas Separator Illustration

The design of the Separator vessel can be either horizontal or vertical, depending mainly on available area on the site where it will be installed.

Inertial Separation Stage:

In this first stage, the natural gas stream enters the Separator vessel, where the flow must be uniformly distributed to help a higher separation efficiency.  The natural gas flow is imposed to move inside the vessel in such ways that Inertial and Centrifugal forces start the process of separating the larger liquid drops.

Vane or Mesh Pad Stage:

Later, the natural gas passes through a Mesh or Vane Pack, where the smaller droplets collide with each other, creating larger size drops that will be more easily separated from the stream.  These internal components are recommended to be stainless steel, so they later can’t become a source of oxide contamination.

Coalescing Stage:

The liquid drops that thanks to the previous processes are now larger and heavier, can be more affected by gravity, which helps precipitate them and separate from the natural gas flow.  Then they accumulate at the reservoir area in the Separator vessel.  An outlet at the bottom of the vessel will be necessary to purge these liquids out of the Separator.

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