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Areas of Expertise - Natural & Fuel Gases

 
     
     
 


Natural Gas Analysis:

Natural Gas is a naturally occurring mixture of hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon gases found in porous geological formations (reservoirs) beneath the earth's surface. The chemical composition and heating value (Btu content) of natural gas varies with the reservoir source, processing / conditioning steps, and pipeline company. "Processed (merchantable)" natural gas is primarily a mixture of paraffinic hydrocarbons with the following median composition: methane (93%), ethane (3.1%), propane (0.5%), isobutane (0.06%), n-butane (0.05%), isopentanes (0.02%), n-pentane (0.02%), hexanes + (0.04%), along with Nitrogen (1.2%), and Carbon Dioxide (0.6%). odorants (i.e. tert-butyl mercaptan) are added for safety purposes. Low levels of water vapor, Hydrogen, Carbon Monoxide, Helium, Oxygen, and C6-C14 hydrocarbons are normally considered "negligible" constituents of most processed natural gas streams. Notable exceptions involve some liquefied natural gas [LNG] based applications. Processed natural gas can be blended with reformed gas (i.e. 60/40) on a seasonal basis to increase its Btu content. In addition to fuel use, natural gas is a feedstock (hydrogen source) for ammonia production and a source of light hydrocarbons (i.e. ethane/propane/butane) for chemical synthesis or LG products.

 
     
 
     
 

BTU Std - level 1 - FID

BTU Std - level 1 - FID

 
     
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BTU Std - level 1 - TCD

BTU Std - level 1 - TCD

 
     
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Fuel Gas Analysis:

Fuel gas analysis is used to determine turbine efficiency, evaluate commercial suppliers, ensure fuel quality, satisfy emission requirements, and establish fuel pricing. For many applications, fuel specifications are set by professional groups (i.e. ASTM, ASME, GPA, CGA, NPGA), OEMs, fuel suppliers, or government agencies (i.e. EPA, DOD). Examples of standard tests performed on natural, manufactured and liquefied gases (LG) include: composition, odorant level/total sulfur content, % C-H-O-N-S "Ultimate Analysis", Btu content (HHV/LHV), physical properties such as vapor pressure, density, specific gravity, compressibility factor, average molecular weight, corrosivity and impurities (i.e. water, sediment, oil, etc).

In addition to fuel usage, light hydrocarbons such as ethylene, propylene, butylene, butadiene, and acetylene are important feedstocks for chemical synthesis. Some background information about these fuel & feedstock commodities is presented here for review. A detailed list of relevant methods employed by Atlantic Analytical for analysis of these can be found in Part II of this webpage.

 
     
 

Information Sources:

Common Definitions: (See ASTM D 4150 "Standard Terminology Relating to Gaseous Fuels" & ASME "Gaseous Fuels Performance Test Code" for more details).

Reference Literature: (See ASTM MNL 1 "Manual on Significance of Tests for Petroleum Products", 6th edition, by G.V. Dyroff, editor, 1993).

 
     
 
   
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