When some sort of chemical separation process or any purification process is going on, it is important to separate the similar looking molecules with almost similar polarity. The purification doesn’t complete until the solution is free from these impurities. Under this circumstance, you need to use such substances that have the quality to absorb those elements that are actually causing the impurity. Molecular Sieve would be the perfect desiccant for such purposes.
The sieve desiccants are actually crystalline aluminasilicate which possess the powerful ability to act as a gas and liquid adsorbent. The sieve has three dimensional structure and this fact greatly depends on the silicon oxide and aluminum oxide polyhedral. Both these substances are able to produce great adsorbents and when you make a perfect blend of these two ingredients, the produced substance is sure to have some excellent quality of absorbing the impurities from natural gases. Thus, these substances have massive uses in various chemical refining processes.
The effectiveness of Molecular Sieve Adsorbents is really excellent. These are actually best for those products that are used vastly in natural gas refining, petrochemical and air drying industries. The performance of these adsorbents to separate the impurities is based on the molecular size. This adsorbent has the quality to absorb even the smallest size of molecules. The molecular sieves are available in different sizes and shapes and which includes balls, pellets and powder. Among the different types of these molecular sieves, 3A, 4A, 5A and 13X are widely used for a number of purposes. The effectiveness of these molecular sieves includes drying and cleaning technical gases.
The 3A molecular is generally used to desiccate several hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon gas and liquids. Apart from that, these molecular sieve adsorbent packets are also used to dehydrate alcohol and solvents. The application of 4A molecules is quite similar to that of 3A molecules except, these sieves are also used to purify the electronic components as well. The application of 5A molecules is to separate the chain of hydrocarbons in order to dry the natural gas and most importantly, to produce high level of pure hydrogen. It is basically used for commercial purposes of refining air, petroleum and gas for various industrial purposes.
The pellets and beads of 5A type molecular sieve adsorbents are also used to absorb the oxygen. More so, in petrochemical industries, it is used to separate the nitrogen from the air. The 13X molecular sieves are used for the dehydration of the natural gas, LPG, and other petrochemical liquids.
There has been a widespread utilization of the molecular sieve technology for the removal of impurities and water from the natural gas. Hence, there is an imminent need for better understanding of the process and the operation of this molecular sieve technology.
This article will discuss in complete details about the different components that can have some value in the sweetening process of natural gas using the molecular sieves.