Most natural gas plants currently use conventional separation systems such as cyclones, cone and basket strainers, and separators to remove black powder. Conventional filters typically show poor separation performance in removing black powder due to their size-excluding nature. Filters are restricted by the pore size of the barrier, causing incomplete filtration or clogged pores. This means the filters must be changed out and disposed of regularly. Therefore, a cost is associated with each gram of particles removed.

     Existing magnetic filters consist of several magnetic rods enclosed in a vessel that are in direct contact with the hydrocarbon stream. Once the rods attract enough particles, they need to be cleaned and put back in service. However, the current cleaning mechanisms require a crane to lift the magnetic elements out of the vessel and operators must manually scrape the contaminants off the magnetic elements. This method creates a fire hazard from metal-to-metal contact in the presence of light hydrocarbons and causes significant interruption in plant production. Tartan's magnetic filter eliminates the fire hazard and inconvenience due to manual cleaning by automating the cleaning process.

Comparison Between Tartan's Magnetic Filter and Existing Filters 

Cumulative Cost Comparison Over 15 Years

     The cost of installing and operating a Tartan Magnetic Filter for inlet separation is compared to the cost of using disposable cartridge filters in a natural gas plant with severe black powder contamination. Figure 1 shows the cumulative cost comparison between the two options over 15 years, while Figure 2 shows the return on investment after installing a Tartan Magnetic Filter. A return on investment can be seen after only 2 years!

     Figure 1. Total Cost of Installing and Operating a Tartan Automated Magnetic Filter Over 15 Years

     Figure 2. Return on Investment of Running a Tartan Magnetic Filter Over 15 Years