Process Adsorbents

Adsorbents for natural gas, bio-ethanol, and petrochemical and refinery solutions

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Natural Gas

The natural gas industry has strict specifications and limits on impurities in hydrocarbon gas and condensates supplied to processing plants and downstream customers in order to prevent corrosion, hydrate formation, and freezing in cryogenic equipment. When sulfur compounds and carbon dioxide levels are too high, they need to be removed to meet product specifications or avoid formation of solid CO2.

SYLOBEAD® adsorbents are used extensively to fulfill the above requirements. Examples are:

  • Drying natural gas prior to cryogenic processing or turbo expansion with SYLOBEAD® molecular sieves
  • Sweetening natural gas for removal of H2S and mercaptans to meet pipeline specifications with molecular sieves
  • Hydrocarbon dew point control and recovery. Grace supplies hydrocarbon grade silica gel for NGL extraction where hydrocarbon dew point specifications need to be met
  • Drying sour natural gas with a modified synthetic SYLOBEAD® molecular sieve to meet transmission specifications to the sulfur removal unit

Special molecular sieves are available to remove water and sulfur components while avoiding the formation of CO2.

Grace's SYLOBEAD® zeolite molecular sieves offer the combined benefits of high selective adsorption properties with high mechanical integrity due to advanced manufacturing and de-dusting technologies.​​

Bio-Ethanol

In bio-ethanol dehydration, SYLOBEAD® molecular sieves dry ethanol that is produced from edible feedstock, cellulosic feedstocks, and synthetically produced ethanol.

When manufacturing ethanol, specifications require very low amounts of water in the ethanol to avoid the potential for the formation of unwanted products in automotive combustion engines. Thorough separation of ethanol and water is achieved with the use of extremely porous composite materials consisting of zeolite and binder. These composite materials, known as molecular sieves, are the most economical means of drying ethanol.

Grace has been manufacturing molecular sieves for over 60 years, and first produced sieves specifically for ethanol dehydration in the 1970s. Today, Grace customers depend on SYLOBEAD® molecular sieves to dry ethanol that is produced from edible feedstock, cellulosic feedstocks, and synthetically produced ethanol. SYLOBEAD® molecular sieves enable ethanol producers to maximize profitability via:

  • Very good adsorption kinetics
  • Low co-adsorption of ethanol
  • High attrition resistance of the beads
  • Lowest level of by-products formation

SYLOBEAD® molecular sieves have been designed to minimize ethanol co-adsorption, which increases ethanol production capacity and reduces energy costs.

Petrochemical and Refinery

GRACE® SYLOBEAD® adsorbents are extensively used in the petrochemical and refining industries to purify various hydrocarbon gases and liquids, for example:

  • Drying of cracked gas
  • Purification of propylene and ethylene feedstocks
  • Drying hydrogen gas for acetylene converters
  • Drying and purification of olefins (removal of CO2 and oxygenates)
  • Alkylation and isomerization feed drying
  • Drying and purification of feed streams for MTBE and butamer production
  • LPG sweetening and butane destenching
  • Purification in the hydrogen PSA unit including dehydration, hydrocarbon recovery, and removal of CO2, CO, and other compounds
  • Separation of normal and iso-paraffins

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