Tobolsk, 18 January 2011. Tobolsk-Neftekhim has brought into operation a unit for cleaning methanol from propane fraction, bringing the quality of propane up to the European level.
Methanol is contained in the incoming raw material – a broad fraction of light hydrocarbons, and is concentrated during processing into a propane fraction to give a volume of more than 2000 ppm*.
Russian standards do not regulate the content of methanol in the propane. However, in EU countries, to where part of the production is exported, the standard specifies that the methanol content should not exceed 2000 ppm.
After the reconfiguration of the process and the carrying out of balancing and commissioning work, the content of methanol in the propane fraction is now maintained in a range not exceeding 1000 ppm. The new unit allows the removal of methanol from the total volume of propane fraction produced by the company.
In addition, the company's research center for gas processing "NIPIgazpererabotka" has carried out bench testing of a new technology for removing methanol from commercial propane based on the principle of azeotropic separation. The next step will be to conduct pilot tests of the technology and to confirm the figures recorded in the bench trials. The anticipated result is the provision of baseline data for the design of technological treatment plants to remove methanol from propane with a capacity of 240 tonnes per hour, resulting in a methanol content of less than 50 ppm.
It is planned to use the new technology for the removal of methanol at Tobolsk-Neftekhim, with the possible construction of a new gas fractionating plant.
* Parts per million
International Media Relations