Natural Gas Filtration 101

January 11, 2022

A natural gas filter is used to remove impurities present in raw natural gas in the Midwest. There are different types of natural gas filters designed for the filtration of different kinds of contaminants in solid, liquid, and vapor forms. The best filters remove virtually all of these contaminants, allowing for maximum flow rate and minimum resistance.

Does Natural Gas Need to be Filtered?

Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is mined from underground and used by millions of industries and households for daily energy needs worldwide. But in its raw state, natural gas contains numerous solid and liquid contaminants which must be efficiently removed through filtration before the gas can be used for commercial consumption. The filtration process provides optimal protection to the sensitive equipment used in the storage, transport, and delivery of natural gas and improves the equipment’s overall efficiency and longevity.

How to Filter Natural Gas

There are three main steps involved in the filtration and removal of solid and liquid contaminants from natural gas:

Step One: Straining

Straining is the first step employed, intending to efficiently remove large solid contaminants (100 microns and above) from natural gas pipelines. A strainer can be constructed of either carbon steel or stainless steel,

Step Two: Separation

Separation removes large molecules of liquid contaminants such as hydrocarbon oil, water, and gels from natural gas. These molecules are removed through the passing of pressurized natural gas through a series of devices such as vane packs, inertial separators, and mesh pads. These devices amalgamate the small-size molecules into large droplets which precipitate and drain down via gravity to the bottom of the device.

Step Three: Coalescence

After passing through the strainers and separators, the final step in the filtration of natural gas is coalescence. Here, the natural gas passes through a coalescence filter which removes the smallest particulates, down to 0.3 microns, and with high efficiency.

Natural Gas Filtration Solutions in the Midwest and Worldwide

For industries in the Midwest and worldwide, natural gas filtration offers numerous advantages for both the process application itself and the employees involved. These benefits include:

  • Efficient removal of solid and liquid contaminants
  • Multiple filter designs and models
  • Easy and safe to operate and maintain
  • Resistance to corrosion
  • Support onshore and offshore operations
  • Fast, easy filter element replacement
  • Reduced maintenance and downtime cost
  • The extended service life of sensitive equipment
  • Reduced risk of poisoning from toxic materials
  • Reduced hazard and explosion risks

Differential pressure gauges detect when filters or strainers become clogged.   Depending on the application, a differential pressure gauge can have an integrated switch to allow automatic cleaning of the strainer or alert an operator of the need for scheduled maintenance.    To learn more about differential pressures gauges and switches, contact the experts at Mid-West Instrument.