In the petrochemical industry, natural gas is processed to remove contaminants and meet product specifications. Process contaminants include acidic gases such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide, which can corrode costly refinery equipment downstream. Typically, the acidic gases are removed via alkanolamine treatment using monoethanolamine (MEA) or methyldiethanolamine (MDEA). The amine solutions absorb the acidic gases, and then the amine compounds are removed from the natural gas.
In addition to the acidic gases, heat stable salts (HSS) that remain in the natural gas are also corrosive to the treatment plants. These are also removed via gas sweetening and need to be determined in the used gas sweetening amine solution. Some typical heat stable salts of interest include acetate (1), formate (2), chloride (3), phosphate (4), sulfate (5), oxalate (6), thiosulfate (7), and thiocyanate (8).