Fundamentals of Natural Gas Processing: 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Fundamentals of Natural Gas Processing

2nd Edition

By Arthur J. Kidnay, Arthur J. Kidnay, William R. Parrish, Daniel G. McCartney

CRC Press

574 pages | 304 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2011-01-05
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Offering indispensable insight from experts in the field, Fundamentals of Natural Gas Processing, Second Edition provides an introduction to the gas industry and the processes required to convert wellhead gas into valuable natural gas and hydrocarbon liquids products. The authors compile information from the literature, meeting proceedings, and their own work experiences to give an accurate picture of where gas processing technology stands today as well as to highlight relatively new technologies that could become important in the future. The second edition of this bestselling text reflects important advances in gas processing technologies, including those related to liquefied natural gas (LNG).

New to the Second Edition

  • Background information in five new chapters that cover processing principles, pumps, heat transfer, separation processes, and phase separation equipment
  • More discussions of many gas processes
  • Questions and exercises at the end of most chapters to stress important concepts

To help nonengineers understand the technical issues, the first part of the text presents an overview of the basic concepts. The topics covered in this part are applicable throughout the gas, oil, and chemical industries. The second part addresses each step of natural gas processing, with a focus on gas plant processes. The chapters in this section follow the gas stream, from gas bought at the wellhead to gas entering the marketplace. Wherever possible, the authors examine the advantages, limitations, and ranges of applicability of the processes so that their selection and integration into the overall gas plant can be fully understood.

For readers without a background in chemical engineering or who are just entering the field, this book offers a thorough introduction to the natural gas industry. It also helps those in the gas industry better understand how their products and services fit into the overall process.

Table of Contents

Processing Principles


Units and Conversions

Basic Chemistry Concepts

Specification Test Methods




Pump Fundamentals

Centrifugal Pumps

Reciprocating Pumps

Rotary Pumps

Pump Comparisons

Heat Transfer


Modes of Heat Transfer

Cooling and Heating Sources

Heat Exchanger Types


Separation Processes




Column Internals



Phase Separation Equipment

Gas–Liquid Separators

Filter Separators and Coalescing Filters

Cyclone Separators

Liquid–Liquid Separators

Residence Time for Various Separator Applications


Overview of the Natural Gas Industry


Sources of Natural Gas

Composition of Natural Gas


Principal Products and Markets

Product Specifications

Combustion Characteristics

Overview of Gas Plant Processing

Roles of Gas Plants

Plant Processes

Important Support Components

Contractual Agreements and Economics

Operational Measures

Field Operations and Inlet Receiving


Field Operations

Gas Hydrates

Inlet Receiving

Safety and Environmental Considerations





Compressor Types

Capacity and Power Calculations

Comparison of Reciprocating and Centrifugal Compressors

Safety and Environmental Considerations

Gas Treating


Solvent Absorption Processes

Physical Absorption


Cryogenic Fractionation


Nonregenerable Hydrogen Sulfide Scavengers

Biological Processes

Safety and Environmental Considerations

Gas Dehydration


Water Content of Hydrocarbons

Gas Dehydration Processes

Safety and Environmental Considerations

Hydrocarbon Recovery


Process Components

Liquids Removal Processes

Safety and Environmental Considerations

Nitrogen Rejection


Nitrogen Rejection for Gas Upgrading

Nitrogen Rejection for Enhanced Oil Recovery Using Cryogenic Distillation

Safety and Environmental Considerations

Trace Component Recovery or Removal




Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylenes

Liquids Processing


Condensate Processing

NGL Processing

Safety and Environmental Considerations

Acid Gas Processing and Disposal


Properties of Sulfur

Sulfur Recovery Processes

Sulfur Storage

Acid Gas Disposal

Safety and Environmental Considerations

Transportation and Storage




Liquefied Natural Gas


Gas Treating before Liquefaction

Liquefaction Cycles

Storage of LNG


Regasification and Cold Utilization of LNG


Safety and Environmental Considerations

Capital Costs of Gas Processing Facilities


Basic Premises for All Plant Component Cost Data

Amine Treating

Glycol Dehydration

NGL Recovery with Straight Refrigeration (Low Ethane Recovery)

NGL Recovery with Cryogenic Processing (High Ethane Recovery) and Nitrogen Rejection

Sulfur Recovery and Tail Gas Cleanup

NGL Extraction Plant Costs for Larger Facilities

Corrections to Cost Data

Natural Gas Processing Plants


Plant with Sweet Gas Feed and 98% Ethane Recovery

Plant with Sour Gas Feed, NGL, and Sulfur Recovery

Plant with Sour Gas Feed, NGL Recovery, and Nitrogen Rejection

Appendix A: Glossary of Gas Process Terminology

Appendix B: Physical Constants and Physical Properties

Author Index

Subject Index

Discussion Questions, Exercises, References, and Web Sites appear at the end of most chapters.

About the Authors


Arthur J. Kidnay, PhD, PE, is a professor emeritus in the chemical engineering department at the Colorado School of Mines. He has taught and conducted extensive research in the fields of vapor–liquid equilibria, physical adsorption, and heat transfer. A fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Dr. Kidnay has served on the Colorado Board of Registration for Professional Engineers, has been a NATO senior science fellow at Oxford University, and has been a recipient of the Russell B. Scott Memorial Award at the Cryogenic Engineering Conference.

William R. Parrish, PhD, PE, is a retired senior research associate with ConocoPhillips, where he obtained physical properties data needed for new processes and for resolving operation problems. He provided company-wide technical expertise on matters involving physical properties and gas hydrates and participated on six gas plant optimization teams. A fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Dr. Parrish remains actively involved in the development of examinations for professional engineers.

Daniel G. McCartney, PE, provides technical expertise for gas processing, LNG, and sulfur projects at a global engineering, construction, and consulting company. Previously, he worked for over 25 years at Warren Petroleum and Chevron. Mr. McCartney is chair of the Technical Data Development subgroup in the Gas Processors Association and a senior advisory board member for the Laurance Reid Gas Conditioning Conference.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Industrial & Technical
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Chemical & Biochemical
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Power Resources / Fossil Fuels