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Gas Processing Filtration

Equipment used in natural gas processing

Raw natural gas contains a combination of solid and liquid contaminants, including: pipeline and well treatment chemicals; water vapor; iron sulfide; iron oxide; and acid gas, such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide. These contaminants can foul processing equipment, corrode distribution equipment, and lead to foaming and off-spec final product.

3M Purification products help natural gas processing facilities around the world to increase natural gas process efficiency...protect equipment from fouling...and provide the highest quality, contaminant-free final product. Their high performance and low cost-in-use makes 3M filters the media of choice for a variety of natrual gas processing operations, from amine sweetening and tail gas cleanup to final product purification.

Gas Processing Applications for 3M Purification

Inlet Gas Separation

Field gas can contain a number of suspended contaminants, which can foul downstream sweetening and dehydration systems. Natural gas gathering systems deliver large volumes of gas via pipeline to the processing facility’s central inlet. Filtering this inlet gas is an important first step in protecting downstream processes. Additionally, the produced water must be filtered prior to either disposal or re-injection.

3M Purification products efficiently remove solids and deformable contaminants to reduce process upsets and deliver consistently clean natural gas feeds to further downstream processing.


Amine Sweetening

Amine treating systems, in addition to forming a critical part of gas processing, have a significant impact on overall operating costs. Contaminants in the amine system can cause process disruption with problems such as contactor plugging, foaming, and heat exchanger, reboiler and carbon bed fouling. To reduce such incidents – and the accompanying maintenance costs and downtime – high efficiency filtration systems are used to purify:

  • Recirculating amine stream
  • Inlet gas
  • Tail gas cleanup

3M Purification products are used throughout amine sweetening processes to improve efficiency and provide greater process protection.


Glycol Dehydration

Recirculating glycol streams, used to remove water vapor from natural gas, can become contaminated with solids – contributing to corrosion, heat exchanger and reboiler fouling, tray plugging and pump seal failures.

3M Purification products installed both upstream and downstream of the carbon bed in the water rich glycol stream will extend the life of the carbon bed, remove solids and carbon fines, and help protect all downstream equipment.


Lube Oil

Lubricating oil filtration is a key element in the efficient operation and protection of large engines used to power compressors and other processing equipment. 3M Purification products eliminate contamination from rust, crankcase scale, and debris to help prevent engine failure and the resulting downtime.


Fuel & Instrument Gas

Fuel gas, used throughout gas processing facilities to drive engines, compressors and gas turbines, should be filtered at the point of use. Contamination can cause excessive valve wear, burner tip plugging and other equipment failures. By eliminating contaminants, 3M Purification enables improved combustion, reduced overall maintenance costs, and a higher degree of safety and reliability.

Instrument gas is delivered to regulating valves, meters and other control and test equipment. Contamination can cause excessive valve wear, blockage of sensitive detection devices and metering equipment failures. Efficient, cost-effective 3M Purification products help protect sensitive measuring devices.


Desiccant Dehydration

Desiccant dehydration systems remove residual water vapor from natural gas streams. Solid particulates in the stream can plug the pores of the absorbent in these systems – causing bed degradation, release of desiccant fines and loss of dehydration capacity.

3M Purification products are used upstream and downstream of desiccant dehydration systems: first, filtering out particulates to protect sensitive absorption and regeneration towers; and secondly, to remove destructive fines, protecting compressors and other equipment.


3M Purification Technologies

Radial Pleat Design

3M Radial Pleat purification filter

This proprietary 3M technology provides exceptional filter efficiency. The “radial pleats” give these filters more surface area to a given volume than many other types of conventional filters. This feature not only provides extremely high holding capacity to trap more impurities, but it also allows for fewer change-outs – reducing material and disposal costs.

3M Purification products incorporating the radial pleat design:


Grooved Design

3M Grooved Filter cartridges

These filter cartridges feature a rigid, graded porosity grooved structure that increases the surface area by over 65% when compared to ungrooved cylindrical cartridges. The grooved surface prevents premature blinding of the outer surface by large particles, and allows full use of the graded depth structure. This design also significantly extends filter life, and withstands machining into the upstream surface without tearing or melting.

3M Purification products incorporating the grooved construction:


Flow-Enhancing Construction

Purification flow enhancement diagram

3M Purification’s latest advance in depth filtration technology is a flow-enhancing design that allows uniform distribution of fluid flow and contaminant throughout the entire depth of the cartridge. The filter is constructed of a polypropylene media with fluid distribution netting, forming multiple layers in a total of three distinct media sections. Critically positioned media flow channels allow greater movement of fluid from layer to layer. This design also offers extended filter life – up to 3x greater than competitive filters.

3M Purification products incorporating the flow-enhancing construction:


Alternative Bag Design

3M DF Filter System

Developed using 3M Purification’s extensive depth filtration experience, the 3M™ DF Filter System features a true graded-porosity media structure, a 62% increase in filter surface area, 67% fluid volume retention, and up to 4 times the service life compared to standard bag filters. The innovative DF filter element and restrainer basket design provides 100% three-dimensional support for the filter media – vastly reducing the potential for filter element rupture and the resulting downstream contamination. 3M DF series filters will easily retrofit most existing bag filter housings; for new construction, 3M offers a full line of stainless steel housings.


3M™ High Flow Filters vs. String-Wound

High flow filter vs. string-wound comparison graphic

3M™ High Flow Filters feature improved loading capacity compared to many other types of conventional filters – reducing your cost of materials, labor and disposal.

Flexible structures, such as those found in typical meltblown and string-wound filters, tend to compress and change porosity with increased pressure. The pores collapse and ultimately close, reducing filter life. 3M High Flow Filters have rigid structures to better tolerate fluctuating differential pressures and varying levels of contaminant loading.



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