Nitech® Nitrogen Rejection Technology

Nitech® Nitrogen Rejection Technology: Efficiency Without the Complexity Typically Associated with Nitrogen Rejection

Gregory L. Hall, P.E.
BCCK Engineering, Inc.

In 1994, a new technology for separating nitrogen from natural gas was introduced with a full-scale processing plant located near Mist, Oregon. Several years of research and development by BCCK Engineering, Inc. preceded the installation of the facility. Prior to the installation of the Mist unit, BCCK engineers spent a significant amount of time optimizing the nitrogen rejection unit (NRU) simulation to ensure that hydrocarbon recovery was as efficient as possible, while providing a design that was economical and uncomplicated. To ensure a less complicated design, BCCK scheduled interviews with operators of conventional cryogenic NRUs to survey operational concerns. The results of these discussions prompted BCCK to develop and patent a nitrogen rejection technology, Nitech®, which requires no cryogenic rotating equipment, as these elements are consistently responsible for facility downtime and excessive operating expense. This work also provided a design with only three main components, which reduces capital costs and delivery time when compared to conventional technology. The success of the flagship Nitech® NRU in Oregon prompted the installation of ten additional Nitech® facilities in the domestic United States. Although each unit is centered around the core Nitech® design, each facility has unique challenges due to differing gas compositions, flowrates, and operating conditions.