Sulfur Sweetening

The primary process for sweetening sour natural gas utilizes amine solutions to remove the hydrogen sulfide. This process is known simply as the 'amine process', or alternatively as the Girdler process, and is used in 95 percent of gas sweetening operations. The sour gas is run through a tower, which contains the amine solution. This solution has an affinity for sulfur, and absorbs it much like glycol absorbing water. There are two principle amine solutions used, monoethanolamine (MEA) and diethanolamine (DEA). Either of these compounds, in liquid form, will absorb sulfur compounds from natural gas as it passes through. The effluent gas is virtually free of sulfur compounds, and thus loses its sour gas status. Like the process for NGL extraction and glycol dehydration, the amine solution used can be regenerated, allowing it to be reused to treat more sour gas.

Pumps for Sulfur Sweetening Applications