Waste Management an Unavoidable Step in the Pipeline Process
The operation of natural gas wells and pipelines is highly regulated from the federal government down to individual state environmental protection agencies. These regulations help to minimize environmental and public health risks by ensuring the safety of production equipment and pipelines, site workers, nearby communities and their surroundings. One necessary component of regulatory compliance is maintaining a waste management protocol that considers, among others, air pollutants such as hydrocarbons.
The process of dehydrating natural gas frequently involves the use of glycol, most commonly triethylene glycol, due to its properties that aid in the removal of water vapors and liquid hydrocarbons from the gas stream. While its significant absorption abilities provide benefits in the natural gas dehydration process, glycol also presents the pressing operational concern of waste management. The dehydration process results in the spent glycol becoming saturated with suspended solids and dissolved contaminants, including benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene and xylenes (BTEX) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in addition to its water content. The presence of these potentially hazardous pollutants in spent glycol renders proper disposal or regeneration mandatory.
Traditionally, spent glycol is disposed of using a hazardous waste removal and/or storage service to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. While costly, this service ensures safe handling of the spent glycol and replacement with new glycol.
Glycol reclamation is an alternative option to regenerate the spent glycol. On-site glycol reclamation with the PACER by Cimarron Tank does not require shutting down the flow of natural gas to recondition glycol. The PACER utilizes a sidestream to connect directly to the dehydrator unit, allowing glycol to pass through it while the dehydrator continues to operate. While the PACER removes water from the glycol, it also absorbs the hydrocarbons, reducing the volume of operationally unfriendly waste disposal by up to 97 percent. This cost-effective solution drastically reduces the need to replace spent glycol, keeps your operation online and is more environmentally-friendly and sustainable than traditional disposal methods. Click here to watch the PACER by Cimarron Tank at work and learn more about the system’s patented technology.