Natural Gas Filtration
Natural gas is an abundant clean-burning fuel that provides an important part of the overall energy usage in the United States. Gas (CH4), also known as methane, undergoes a number of processes as it is transported from wellhead to end-user, and many of these steps require filtration of the product. Impurities such as pipe scale, iron sulfide, hydrates, water, liquid hydrocarbons, sulfur products and carbon dioxide must be removed before it is deemed “pipeline quality”.
Gas-fired engine-compressor sets “gather” the natural gas from the wellheads, and pump it to a gas processing plant to make it marketable.
The following map shows the network of pipelines that transport natural gas throughout the United States, as monitored by our Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The natural gas is pumped in large underground pipelines, often 24” to 36” in diameter, at pressures of up to 3000 psig, traveling about 60 feet per second (approximately 40 miles per hour).
Most of the motive power comes from large stationary reciprocating engines that were built and installed in the latter half of the 20th Century. The engines are driven by the same natural gas that they are pumping. Many of these engine manufacturers are no longer in business, but their engines continue to run. In fact, with over 95% of the installed fleet still in operation, it is impossible to measure the half-life of these engines!