Effect of common impurities on the phase behavior of carbon-dioxide-rich systems: Minimizing the risk of hydrate formation and two-phase flow

Carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by carbon-capture processes is generally not pure and can contain impurities such as N2, H 2, CO, H2S, and water. The presence of these impurities could lead to challenging flow-assurance issues. The presence of water may result in ice or gas-hydrate formation and cause blockage. Reducing the water content is commonly required to reduce the potential for corrosion, but, for an offshore pipeline system, it is also used as a means of preventing gas-hydrate problems; however, there is little information on the dehydration requirements. Furthermore, the gaseous CO2-rich stream is generally compressed to be transported as liquid or dense-phase in order to avoid two-phase flow and increase in the density of the system. The presence of impurities will also change the system’s bubblepoint pressure, hence affecting the compression requirement. The aim of this study is to evaluate the risk of hydrate formation in a CO2-rich stream and to study the phase behavior of CO 2 in the presence of common impurities. An experimental methodology was developed for measuring water content in a CO2-rich phase in equilibrium with hydrates. The water content in equilibrium with hydrates at simulated pipeline conditions (e.g., 4°C and up to 190 bar) as well as after simulated choke conditions (e.g., at -2°C and approximately 50 bar) was measured for pure CO2 and a mixture of 2 mol% H2 and 98 mol% CO2. Bubblepoint measurements were also taken for this binary mixture for temperatures ranging from -20 to 25°C. A thermodynamic approach was employed to model the phase equilibria. The experimental data available in the literature on gas solubility in water in binary systems were used in tuning the binary interaction parameters (BIPs). The thermodynamic model was used to predict the phase behavior and the hydrate-dissociation conditions of various CO2-rich streams in the presence of free water and various levels of dehydration (250 and 500 ppm). The results are in good agreement with the available experimental data. The developed experimental methodology and thermodynamic model could provide the necessary data in determining the required dehydration level for CO2-rich systems, as well as minimum pipeline pressure required to avoid two-phase flow, hydrates, and water condensation.