BASF Catalysts offers exceptional expertise in the development of technologies that protect the air we breathe, produce the fuels that power our world and ensure efficient production of a wide variety of chemicals, plastics and other products including advanced battery materials. BASF’s Catalysts division is the world’s leading supplier of environmental and process catalysts. The group offers exceptional expertise in the development of technologies that protect the air we breathe, produce the fuels that power our world and ensure efficient production of a wide variety of chemicals, plastics and other products, including advanced battery materials. We believe mobility’s future lies in more than just products. So where others come to a full stop, we’re just getting started—by leveraging the full power of BASF to continually advance our comprehensive package of sustainable solutions that enable us to travel further, as well as above and beyond. A leading supplier of high performance cathode active materials (CAM) for electrified vehicles to battery producers and automotive OEMs around the world. Protecting the air we breathe from harmful emissions through innovation. BASF leverages unsurpassed expertise in the development of emission control technologies for a wide range of market applications. BASF is committed to advancing and promoting environmentally-sound technologies to achieve a sustainable future in aviation. Offering 50 years of experience developing intelligent solutions for air quality over a wide range of applications — enabling clean air for a healthier, more sustainable future. As the global leader in chemical catalysts, BASF develops cutting-edge catalyst chemistry with our customers’ needs in mind. We want to contribute to a world that provides a viable future with enhanced quality of life for everyone. We do so by creating chemistry for our customers and society and by making the best use of available resources. BASF offers the widest portfolio of adsorbent technologies for a broad spectrum of applications in industries such as refining, petrochemical, chemical, and gas processing. Syngas, produced from natural gas or coal, is a key intermediate in the emerging technologies for gas-to-liquids (GTL), methanol-to-olefins, coal-to-liquids and fuel cells. At BASF, our Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) catalyst and additive offerings together with our expert technical services build the right solution to create value within any unit’s constraints. Paving the way toward a brighter, more secure future. Manufacturing products for sustainable solutions, reducing emissions from our processes, and using non-fossil fueled energy sources – all of these efforts help lead BASF on a continuing journey of sustainability. BASF Natural Gas experts have a diverse portfolio of products to custom design a solution and help you meet your Natural Gas treatment needs. BASF has been serving the natural gas treatment market for over 60 years. Innovative, step-change technology with dual-purpose performance: removal of heavy hydrocarbons and water to cryogenic specifications in a single unit. With more than 150 years of experience in metal sourcing, trading, and hedging, we’ve built tangible results for our industrial customers. With more than 100 years of experience in recycling materials, BASF’s end-to-end recycling program is known and trusted around the globe. As a leader in precious-metal thermocouples for many years, BASF recently applied its technological expertise to optical-based temperature measurement. Developing and producing pharmaceutical ingredients for more than 75 years, enabling us to provide the solutions you need to meet today's and tomorrow's challenges for your pharmaceutical business. Find the latest news and media information for BASF’s Catalysts division, headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey, USA, the world’s leading supplier of environmental and process catalysts. Explore this collection of resources to learn more about our innovative research and Catalyst solutions.
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Struggling to remove mercaptans and keep project costs in line? Time to consider Durasorb® LNG MAX!

Durasorb® LNG MAX offers a proven alternative to conventional approaches

Natural gas feeds containing mercaptans present a unique challenge to LNG producers: Conventional approaches to remove mercaptans from gas feeds are expensive, inefficient, and require additional units or equipment, resulting in higher CapEx and OpEx for the plant. I would like to show you how BASF’s Durasorb® LNG MAX simplifies the removal of mercaptans from natural gas and reduces costs.

Due to its high solubility in methane, the removal of mercaptans from natural gas feeds pose a particular challenge. Once removed from the feed gas stream using a temperature swing adsorption (TSA) process, the mercaptans, along with other impurities, are removed from the adsorbent during the regeneration phase of the TSA cycle. Mercaptans do not easily condense out of the regeneration gas and can build up in the TSA system. To address this challenge, conventional approaches employ an expensive hybrid amine acid gas removal unit (AGRU) or equipment intensive physical solvent wash process.

BASF's Durasorb® LNG MAX technology can remove mercaptans from natural gas and provides an improved alternative to the conventional approaches.

Durasorb® LNG MAX technology is installed downstream a standard AGRU and removes mercaptans, heavy hydrocarbons (HHC, 6C+), and moisture to cryogenic specifications. For projects with mercaptan concentrations ranging from 100-700 ppm, Durasorb® RSH, a specialty aluminosilicate gel material, is chosen by BASF natural gas experts for its high capacity and acid resistance. Durasorb® RSH can remove mercaptans to below 1 ppmv and can withstand over 10,000 regeneration cycles over a lifetime. Because Durasorb® RSH also removes heavy hydrocarbons, mercaptans are condensed out of the regeneration gas and do not build up in the system.

First graph

Durasorb® LNG MAX with Durasorb® RSH provides a simpler, less expensive solution to remove mercaptans from natural gas.

Durasorb® LNG MAX offers alternatives to conventional approaches

Compared to the conventional approaches for removing mercaptans, Durasorb® LNG MAX technology simplifies the process. One of the conventional approaches to treating natural gas containing mercaptans utilizes a hybrid amine AGRU followed by a standard molecular sieve dehydration adsorption unit. Hybrid amines co-adsorb hydrocarbons, which are lost to the Sulfur Recovery Unit (SRU), resulting in a lost revenue stream for the operator. The Durasorb® LNG MAX solution with Durasorb® RSH adsorbent eliminates the need for a hybrid amine solvent in the AGRU process. A standard amine system is used instead, and the heavy hydrocarbons are passed to the Durasorb® LNG MAX where Durasorb® RSH selectively removes mercaptans and heavy hydrocarbons. This line-up results in a H₂S rich acid gas stream from the AGRU to the SRU.

Second graph

Conventional method with Hybrid AGRU followed by standard molecular sieve results in loss of valuable hydrocarbons to SRU

Another conventional approach to treating natural gas containing mercaptans is to utilize a standard AGRU followed by a molecular sieve mercaptan removal adsorption unit. This method requires an additional physical solvent process for removal of mercaptans from the spent regeneration gas. Such a solvent process will result in high CapEx and OpEx for the plant. In the Durasorb® LNG MAX process, mercaptans are recovered as condensate along with heavy hydrocarbons, so additional equipment to treat the regeneration gas is not required.

Hird graph

Conventional method with Standard AGRU followed by molecular sieve dehydration unit requires a physical wash.

Conclusion: Cost savings and increased efficiency with Durasorb® LNG MAX

BASF's Durasorb® LNG MAX technology proceeded by a standard amine AGRU offers a proven and cost-effective alternative to conventional technologies.

Thus, projects working to reduce CapEx could benefit from the simplified process line-up, which requires less equipment and provides a smaller footprint. BASF natural gas experts have decades of experience designing TSA units for removal of mercaptans from natural gas and rely on proprietary modeling software to design a unit capable of removing mercaptans, heavy hydrocarbons, and water to cryogenic specifications. With its broad portfolio of aluminosilicate gel materials that have been treating natural gas since the 1960’s, technical experts choose the unique combination of products to treat any gas composition.

Durasorb® LNG MAX with Durasorb® RSH specialty mercaptan removal adsorbent eliminates the need for a hybrid amine, recovers a valuable hydrocarbon stream, and reduces the equipment required.

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About the Author

Manish Mehta is a Technology Manager for BASF Adsorbents and Catalysts portfolio for Natural gas applications. Over the past 13 years, he has handled various positions related to Design, commissioning, troubleshooting and product selection for both Solvent and Adsorbent based technologies in the Natural gas applications.

Manish is a Chemical Engineer by education from Thapar University India and has participated in authoring several technical papers and invention disclosures.

In his current role at BASF, Manish has been involved in Marketing, product selection and proposal management of BASF’s Sulfur Recovery catalyst and Natural gas Adsorbents portfolio for the Middle East, India, Central Asia and North Africa region.


Manish Mehta

Regional Technology Manager, Adsorbent Solutions

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Natural Gas Treatment, Adsorbents