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PNG 480: Production Process Engineering (Spring 2017)

Instructor:
Hamid Emami-Meybodi, 152 Hosler, 863-3987, emami@psu.edu

Teaching Assistant:
Ryan Hiton, rth14@psu.edu
Yi Fang, yuf126@psu.edu

Assignment # 05
Two-Phase Horizontal Separators
Due Electronically (CANVAS): Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 before 3:05 PM class

1. Sizing of a Horizontal Separator


Size a horizontal separator able to disengage 15.8 MMSCFD of gas out of 1800.01 lbmol/hr of
inlet hydrocarbon mixture (total molar rate at the inlet). Operating pressure is 1000 psig and the
liquid retention time must be set to 4 min to handle possible surges. Use a design temperature of
80 F and incorporate a mist extractor pad in the design.
Additional considerations:
EOS analysis of the hydrocarbon fluids leaving the vessel shows that their compressibility
factors and molecular weights are:
Z g = 0.96 (gas)
Z l = 0.29 (liquid)
MWg = 16.14 lb/lbmol
MWl = 64.01 lb/lbmol
The separator should be designed to operate at 40% of its height full of liquid.
Liquid settling velocity must be calculated using the Arnold and Stewards approach. Use
a droplet diameter target of 120 microns for the gravity settling section.
Gas viscosity is estimated to be g =0.0025 cp at separation conditions.

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2. Assigned reading:
Arnold and Steward v. 1 (2008): Ch. 4: Two-Phase Oil and Gas Separation
Kumar: Ch. 4: Gas and Liquid Separation (p. 89-125)
Manning and Thompson v.2: Ch. 6: Phase Separation of G, O,W. (p.79-90)
Abdel-Aal: Ch. 3: 2-P Gas-Oil Separation (p. 55-92)

a) Starting with the design equations derived in class, prove that the horizontal design
equations proposed by Arnold and Steward, 2008 [i.e., last equation p. 212 for half-full
operation, Eq. (4-12a) p. 214 for other than half-full (for the gas capacity constraint) and
second equation in p. 213 for half-full operation and Eq. 4-13a p. 215 for other than half-
full (for the liquid capacity constraint)] are essentially identical to those derived in class.
Please do work out the units.
b) Normally, why are horizontal separators operated half full of liquid?
c) In horizontal separators, what is the function of a pressure controller? How does it work?
d) For a given gas and liquid flow rate, are horizontal separators bigger or smaller than vertical
separators? Would high or low gas-liquid ratios be commonly used in horizontal
separators?
e) Why are the liquid droplets more easily settled out of the gas continuous phase in horizontal
separators? Describe the path that they follow during settling.
f) Horizontal separators have some drawbacks that could lead to a preference for vertical
separators in certain situations. Cite four of these drawbacks and describe them.
g) For a vertical separator, the gas capacity is proportional to the cross-sectional area of the
separator, how is a horizontal separator different in regard to gas capacity?
h) In horizontal separators, what are wave breakers? What are they used for?

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3. Vertical and Horizontal Comparison
Please consider the two separators (vertical and horizontal) depicted below.

qgSC (SCF/D)
qgSC (SCF/D)
nF
nF

Liquid

qo (bbl/d)

qo (bbl/d)
The operating GOR of a separator is defined by the expression:

SCF q gSC ( SCF / D)


GOR =
bbl qo (bbl / d )
a) Using the gas and liquid constraints design equations, derive an expression for GOR of
horizontal separators in SCF/bbl. Please work out your units. Clearly state what are the
variables that control the operating GOR of horizontal vessels?
b) Using the gas and liquid constraints design equations, derive an expression for GOR of vertical
separators in SCF/bbl. Please work out your units. Clearly state what are the variables that
control the operating GOR of vertical vessels.
Note: For vertical design, use the simplified procedure for H t -calculation. While applying it,
only use the criterion that calculates H t as a function of H lc and D v .
c) Using the expressions above, demonstrate that:
1) The operating GOR of horizontal separators is independent of separator length (L).
2) The larger the diameter of a horizontal vessel, the less gas (SCF) it can handle per unit
barrel of separated liquid (everything else assumed constant).
3) The larger the diameter of a vertical vessel, the more gas (SCF) it can handle per unit barrel
of separated liquid (everything else assumed constant).
d) Calculate the GOR of both a vertical and horizontal separator operating at 914.7 and
100 . Both separators have identical dimensions, = = 3.0 and = =
12.25 . Gas velocity is known to be 0.48 /, the gas specific gravity is known to be
39.87 /, and the gas compressibility factor is known to be 0.90. Use a liquid level of
50% for the horizontal separator and a retention time of 2 for both separators.

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Additional Practice Questions
(Do not submit as part of your HW)

Solve the following problems using the equations developed in class.

Arnold and Steward v.1, 2008: Chapter 4: Examples 4-1 to 4-4 (p. 226 227)

Kumar: Chapter 4: Example 4-1 (p. 105-107)


Prob. 4 and 5; 2 and 3 (p. 166-167)

Abdel-Aal: Chapter 3: Examples 1,2,3,4 (p. 85-92)


Prob. 9 and 10; Check Prob. 1-8.

Manning and Thompson v.2: Chapter 6: Redo Design Examples 6-1 and 6-2
assuming no incoming water (p. 103-108)
Review Prob. 2 4

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