A Brief Explanation of Amine Treatment

One of the many parts of the refining process of crude oil (that we introduced previously), is its separation from sulfuric acid.

Even after a first distillation however, sulfuric acid will still be mixed with light hydrocarbons. To remove them, it a further step is necessary, which employs a liquid compound called Methyl diethanolamine (MDEA), and is divided in two phases.

In the first one, the gas rich in sulfuric acid and amine mix inside an adsorption column, where hydrocarbons are separated.

The result of this phase is two different amine mixes: one with a high content of hydrocarbons, and one rich with sulfuric acid and CO2.

In the second phase, these two mixes are sent to a regeneration column, where they are heated with steam. Heat separates amines from the other compounds, which are then stored separately. Amine liquid is then reintroduced into the process.