# What Is Fractionation Of Natural Gas?

Fractionation of Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) is the process of separating hydrocarbon mixtures from natural gas into specific products in gas processing plants. Ethane, propane, butane, and pentanes, as well as natural gasoline present in natural gas, are examples of NGLs.

The relative volatility of the components is used to separate them. The relative volatility of the components within the products, as well as the desired purity of the product streams, determine the ease of separation.

The degree of separation required and the component volatility influence the size and expense of the fractionation column. Higher purity products will necessitate more trays, more reflux, a greater column diameter, and/or a smaller product.

A fractionation train consists of several fractionators. The number of separators needed is determined by how many components are to be created from the feed.

OSL has experience designing and engineering a wide range of fractionators and devices for the hydrocarbon recovery industry. These are some of them:

OSL has provided the following services on many fractionation plants:

• De-bottlenecking research
• Simulation of a Process
• Studies of Feasibility
• Engineering Design for the Front End

Fractionation is a common way of creating goods that can be utilized in a variety of applications in the business. The petrochemical sector uses pure NGL products as a feedstock, refineries utilize them to make motor gasoline, and industrial and residential consumers use them as fuel (ex. LPG).

OSL can help you get the most out of your natural gas liquids by providing solutions. We’ve performed research on a variety of fractionation products. A FEED study for the construction of an LPG storage facility and the development of permanent solutions to decrease pollutants in the refinery propylene product stream for a major operator are two recent studies.

## What is the process of gas fractionation?

You could imagine a pepperoni pizza with two slices missing when you hear the word fraction. That one your third-grade teacher showed you when she was teaching you fractions?

“What fraction of the pizza did your little brother consume if you have 8 slices of pizza and he eats two?” (For those of you keeping score at home, the little pipsqueak ate 1/4 of the pizza.)

Let’s keep your little brother’s sticky hands out of this explanation of fractionation.

Natural gas processing is the process of removing natural gas liquids (NGLs) and water from a gas stream, leaving only pipeline-quality natural gas. It’s that pure gas that finally finds its way to your younger brother’s gas oven, where he can now prepare his own pizza instead of taking yours.

The NGLs that are left over after processing must be broken down to their basic components before they can be used. As a result, the NGLs are broken down piece by piece (or fraction by fraction) in a process known as fractionation.

The process of fractionation entails boiling off the various hydrocarbons one by one. Because each hydrocarbon has a different boiling point, the components separate as the temperature rises.

The deethanizer separates the ethane from the NGLs first. Then there’s the depropanizer, which gets rid of the propane. Finally, there’s the debutanizer, which gets rid of the butane.

In any case, the fractionation process produces useable NGLs for a range of applications, including fuel, polymers, rubber, and refrigerants.

## So, how does fractionation work?

Fractionation is a separation procedure in which a given quantity of a combination (gas, solid, liquid, enzymes, suspension, or isotope) is separated into a number of smaller volumes (fractions) whose composition varies along a gradient during a phase transition. Individual components are divided into fractions depending on differences in a given attribute. The requirement to find an optimum between the amount of fractions collected and the desired purity in each fraction is a typical aspect in fractionations. In a single run, fractionation allows you to extract more than two components from a mixture. This distinguishes it from other separation methods.

Fractionation is frequently used in a variety of scientific and technological fields. Fractional distillation separates mixtures of liquids and gases based on their boiling points. In column chromatography, fractionation of components occurs due to a difference in affinity between the stationary and mobile phases. Chemical compounds are separated in fractional crystallization and fractional freezing based on differences in solubility at a specific temperature. Cell fractionation separates cell components based on their mass differences.

## What is a gas fractionation plant, and what does it do?

Term Glossary

Plant for fractionation. This process produces products like propane, butane, and ethane by separating hydrocarbon mixtures based on the vapor pressures of its component molecules, either by adding heat (distillation) or withdrawing heat (condensation).

## What is a fractionated process, and how does it work?

Some of the most essential chemical engineering processes are separation procedures, in which distinct qualities are exploited to separate mixtures of different compositions. Isotope mixtures, molecules, polymers, and cells are examples of mixtures to be separated. Chemical or physical qualities such as chemical reactivity, solubility, molecule size, electrical charge, and change-of-phase temperatures such as boiling and freezing points may be used to support the separation process.

Separation procedures are used in a variety of applications, from water purification to product refinement and raw material separation. Separation procedures account for 4090% of capital investment in manufacturing facilities. Separation equipment is projected to cost 4050 percent of the overall cost of a traditional fluid processing unit, according to various estimates.

There are many different separation procedures, which can be divided into two categories: mechanical separation and diffusion separation. Particle size, density, and electrical or magnetic mobility are all factors that can influence mechanical separation procedures. Chromatographic separation, extraction, and fractionation are all examples of diffusion separation. Fractionation is a substantial aspect of the various and varied separation processes available, and capital investment in fractionation equipment and procedures may account for a significant portion of industrial processing investment.

In the broadest sense, fractionation can refer to any procedure that separates a mixture into multiple components or fractions. However, fractionation in this broad meaning would encompass a wide range of procedures and techniques that may or may not have much in common. Fractionation proper, general separation, analytical separation, and purification are four categories of such methodologies and techniques. It’s crucial to note that this isn’t an all-encompassing classification, as some approaches may exhibit traits that fall into more than one of these categories. For example, chromatography can be analytical or separatory:

1. Fractionation proper, frequently referred to as thermal separation, can be described as any physical fractional or separation process involving a phase transition in which a mixture is divided into two or more fractions with varied compositions in a single run. A homogeneous mixture, such as a solution, or a heterogeneous mixture, such as a mixture of solid and liquid, can be separated. The separated combination could be gaseous, liquid, or solid. Differences in a specific feature of the different components, such as boiling, freezing, or melting points, are used to separate the fractions. Condensation for vapours and gases (dephlegmation), distillation (distillation) or freezing and crystallisation (freeze distillation and solution crystallisation) for liquids, and melting or sublimation for solids are all possible phase shifts. The majority of these techniques are applicable on industrial scales, while some, such as sublimation fractionation, are limited to laboratory-scale methods.

As a result, the following are the general characteristics of fractionation processes:

Fractionation is the process of separating liquid, gas, or solid mixtures into their constituents.

Differences in a certain property of the various components are used to determine fractional separation.

Physical processes involving phase transition are known as fractionation processes.

The following are some examples of fractionation processes (Table 1):

Dephlegmation is the separation of vapour mixtures based on the difference in their condensation points.

Fractional distillation is a method of separating liquids and gases based on their boiling points.

Fractional freezing is a method of separating liquid mixtures based on their freezing points.

Fractional melting is a method of separating solid mixtures based on their melting points.

During phase transition, isotope fractionation separates mixtures of isotopes based on density differences.

2. The term ‘fractionation’, on the other hand, is occasionally used in a broader meaning to refer to any separation process that does not entail phase change and hence is not properly defined as a fractionation process. The following are examples of separation processes:

2.1. Clean fractionation, which uses a mixture of an organic solvent and water to accomplish clean separation.

2.2. Thermal diffusion, which separates mixtures of gases or liquids based on density differences.

2.3. Centrifugation, which is the process of sedimentation using a centrifuge to separate components of varying densities in a heterogeneous mixture.

2.4. Gaseous diffusion, in which mixtures of gases are separated by molecular weight differences.

2.5. Chromatography, in which the difference in affinity between the stationary and mobile phases is used to fractionate components from a solution mixture.

3. The term “fractionation” can also refer to an analytical approach rather than a separating procedure. Bioassay-guided fractionation, analytical chromatography, and geochemical fractionation are examples of such applications.

## With an example, what is fractionation?

Fractionation is the process of separating one analyte or a set of analytes from a sample based on physical (such as size and solubility) or chemical (such as bonding and reactivity) qualities. Microwave-Assisted Sample Preparation for Trace Element Analysis (Microwave-Assisted Sample Preparation for Trace Element Analysis), 2014.

## In the HVAC industry, what is fractionation?

Fractionation is a change in the composition of a blend caused by the loss or removal of one or more components quicker than the others (s).

Fractionation is caused by two primary characteristics of refrigerant molecules.

1.The molecules in pure refrigerants move about, putting pressure on the cylinder (or system). They move around faster at higher temperatures, resulting in increased pressure. Because there is less movement at lower temperatures, there is less pressure.

At the same temperature, different refrigerants have varying energies, resulting in higher or lower pressures.