Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lean and Rich

Lean and rich are commonly jargons used in oil and gas industry which describing most of the oil, gas, and petrochemical processes. If it is looked from normal language, lean means very few and rich means enriched with something. However, in real world of oil, gas, and petrochemical industry those jargons meant vice versa.
There are bunch of processes that always say about these two lean and rich; gas processing, gas dehydration, gas treating, etc. This mainly shows that the products or the agents are almost pure or otherwise.
In gas processing, almost everywhere these terms always being used when describing the processes or the stream. As a nature of gas processing, the ultimate product are natural gas, ethane, and liquefied petroleum gas, (LPG). So, these products are basically having their specifications and require the processing which enhance the specification before it is sold off to customer. Those unprocessed gaseous are named as rich gas because containing all the irrelevant impurities such hydrogen sulfide, (H2S), and mercury, (Hg) for example. The processed gaseous are called lean gas. Same principal even goes to the agent that being used to treat the gaseous, where unused is called lean and used is called rich.
Recently in the last article, there was about gas dehydration which is crucial before exporting it as dry gas. In this article the concern is not on the gas dehydration but more on the tri-ethylene glycol (TEG) that is used for dehydration process. The TEG is being used are fresh and will be regenerated once it is in the loop. Most of the time this TEG is called lean TEG since having very high purity compared to the one in the middle of the process. TEG with a solution of water is called as rich TEG.So, whoever dealing with any designing FEED, detailed, or operation support with any processes and talks about these two jargons, bear in mind that the meaning is actually vice versa of original language.

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