Natural Gas Plant design and Process Description

Natural Gas is a combustible gas which is available in the earth crust, mainly under the rocks where there is a petroleum deposit. Natural Gas will be along with the crude petroleum and in some case, it exists individually. Natural Gas is used as energy source next to liquid petroleum and solid coal, it is an important raw material for the production of petrochemicals. The general composition of Natural Gas contains 70 to 98% of Methane, 16% of alkanes from Ethane to Hexane, 15% of Nitrogen and Carbon dioxide and Hydrogen Sulphide.

Natural Gas Processing have direct and indirect paths to get various derived chemicals and energy.
  • Direct method Natural Gas is combusted or partially combusted without the catalyst to form Formaldehyde, C2H4, C2H6, CO, H2.
  • By the Indirect method, Natural Gas is processed to produce a SYNTHESIS GAS. where all the hydrocarbons are converted to Hydrogen and Carbon-monoxide mixture, this becomes a starting material for the production of various petrochemicals like Ammonia, Methanol, Acetic acid, Phosgene, Oxo alcohols, metal carbonyls, hydrocarbons. Steam reforming is the technique used for the production of synthesis gas from natural gas.
Steam reforming of Natural Gas:
Natural gas and Steam are reacted on a catalyst at operating conditions leads to the production of synthesis gas, the reaction on the catalyst(Ni6 Al2(OH)16. CO3.4H2O) would be like

CH4 + H2O <=> CO + H2