Liquid-gas separators: key separation equipment in industrial processes

In the complex system of modern industry, liquid-gas separator plays an indispensable role as an important equipment. The main function of the liquid-gas separator is to effectively separate the mixture of liquid and gas in order to meet the process requirements and to guarantee the safety, stability and efficiency of production. The working principle of liquid-gas separator is based on the difference of physical properties. Common principles include gravity separation, centrifugal separation and filtration separation. Gravity separation utilises the difference in density between liquids and gases to separate the heavier liquids from the gases by causing them to settle under the effect of gravity under static or slow flow conditions. Centrifugal separation is achieved by generating a high-speed rotating flow field and using centrifugal force to fling liquid droplets out of the gas. Filtration separators use a fine filter medium to block the passage of liquid droplets and allow only the gas to pass through.There are various types of liquid-gas separators to suit different working conditions and applications. Cyclone separators excel in handling large quantities of dusty gases or high velocity gas streams due to their highly efficient centrifugal separation capability. Gravity separators have a simple structure and are suitable for handling large flow rates with low separation requirements. Filter separators, on the other hand, are capable of high-precision liquid-gas separation, and are commonly used in processes with stringent separation requirements.

 Precautions for the operation of liquid-gas separator:

  1. Installation and commissioning: Before installing the liquid-gas separator, make sure that the installation position is smooth and firm, and connect the inlet and outlet pipelines correctly according to the instructions of the equipment. When commissioning, check the sealing of the equipment to ensure that there is no leakage.
  2. Pressure and Temperature Control: Closely monitor the pressure and temperature during operation to keep them within the design allowance of the equipment. Excessive pressure or temperature may result in equipment damage or poor separation.
  3. Feed flow control: Feed flow should be kept stable and sudden increase or decrease of flow should be avoided so as not to affect the separation effect and normal operation of the equipment.
  4. Regular inspection and maintenance: Establish a regular inspection plan, including checking the internal structure of the equipment, the tightness of the connecting parts, and the clogging or damage of the filter elements. Replace worn or damaged parts in time to ensure the performance of the equipment.
  5. Discharge treatment: For the separated liquid and gas, it should be reasonably discharged and treated in accordance with relevant regulations to prevent pollution to the environment.
  6. Operation training: the operator should receive professional training, be familiar with the operation process and precautions of the equipment, and have the ability to deal with unexpected situations.
  7. Safety protection: In the operation process, wear necessary personal protective equipment, such as safety helmet and protective glasses. At the same time, set up obvious safety warning signs around the equipment.
  8. Emergency plan: Develop an emergency plan for possible malfunctions and emergencies, such as equipment leakage, abnormal pressure rise, etc., so as to be able to take rapid and effective measures to reduce losses.
  9. Records and monitoring: Make detailed records of all parameters during operation, such as pressure, temperature, flow rate, etc., so as to enable data analysis and troubleshooting.
  10. Follow the operating procedures: Strictly follow the operating procedures of the equipment, and do not change the operating steps or parameter settings at will.

Methods to judge whether the separation effect of liquid-gas separator is good or not:

  1. Exit gas liquid content test: Measure the liquid content in the gas discharged from the outlet of the separator by means of a professional testing instrument, such as a liquid content analyser. If the liquid content is very low, it usually indicates that the separation effect is good.
  2. Exit liquid gas content test: Analyse the amount of gas in the liquid discharged from the bottom of the separator. A low gas content indicates a good separation.
  3. Observation of liquid level stability: During the separation process, observe the stability of the liquid level in the separator. If the liquid level fluctuation is small and can be maintained in a relatively stable range, it means that the gas-liquid separation is more adequate and the separation effect is good.
  4. Comparison of design parameters: Compare the pressure, temperature, flow rate and other parameters in actual operation with the design parameters of the equipment. If the actual operating parameters are close to or in line with the design requirements, it usually means that the separation effect can meet the expectations.
  5. Check the quality of the discharge: Check the quality of the separated gases and liquids, e.g. purity of the gases, cleanliness of the liquids, etc. High-quality emissions often mean good separation results. 6.
  6. Stability of equipment operation: Observe whether there is any abnormal vibration, noise or other instability in the equipment during operation. Stable operation is usually associated with good separation results.
  7. Achievement of process indicators: According to the requirements of the whole process for gas-liquid separation, check whether the relevant process indicators are achieved. For example, if the subsequent process has a specific requirement for the dryness of the gas, and the separated gas can meet this requirement, it means that the separation effect is good.

The following is the general operating procedure of the liquid-air separator:

  1. Preparation

– Check the appearance of the liquid-gas separator to ensure that there is no obvious damage, leakage or deformation.

– Confirm that the inlet and outlet valves are closed.

– Check the instrumentation and safety devices to ensure that they are working properly.

  1. Installation and connection

– Install the liquid/gas separator correctly at the designated location and connect the inlet and outlet piping, discharge piping, etc. as required.

– Make sure the connection is firm and the sealing is good.

  1. Equipment commissioning

– Slowly open the inlet valve, introduce a small amount of liquid-gas mixture and check the sealing and operation of the equipment.

– Observe the pressure, temperature and other instrumentation to ensure that it is within the normal range.

  1. Normal feeding

– Gradually increase the opening of the inlet valve so that the liquid-gas mixture enters the separator at a stable flow rate.

  1. Separation process

– The liquid-gas mixture is separated in the separator according to physical principles. The liquid is deposited at the bottom of the separator by gravity or other separation mechanisms, and the gas is discharged from the top.

  1. Monitoring and Regulation

– Continuous monitoring of pressure, temperature, liquid level and other parameters.

– Adjust the inlet valve opening as necessary to maintain proper separation and equipment operation.

  1. Liquid Discharge

– When the liquid level at the bottom of the separator reaches a certain height, open the liquid discharge valve and discharge the separated liquid.

  1. Gas output

– The separated gas is discharged from the outlet at the top of the separator and enters the subsequent treatment or use process.

  1. Stopping operation

– Close the inlet valve and stop feeding.

– Wait for the liquid and gas in the separator to be completely discharged, then close the outlet valve and discharge valve.

  1. Equipment cleaning and maintenance

– According to the usage condition, clean, check and maintain the liquid-gas separator regularly, and replace the worn parts.

Benefits of Liquid Gas Separators

Liquid-gas separators are an indispensable piece of equipment in industrial production and in many related fields, and they offer numerous significant benefits. The primary benefit of the liquid-gas separator is the stability and continuity of the production process. By accurately separating liquids and gases, it prevents problems such as blockages and pressure imbalances by effectively avoiding the build-up of liquids in gas pipework or equipment. This helps to reduce production interruptions and breakdowns, increase productivity and ensure that companies can fulfil orders on time and meet market demands.

Liquid-gas separators play a key role in equipment protection. Liquid droplets or impurities carried in the gas that enter subsequent equipment directly without separation can lead to corrosion, wear and clogging, shortening the life of the equipment. The liquid-gas separator can remove these harmful substances in advance, which greatly reduces the maintenance burden of the equipment, lowers the maintenance cost, and prolongs the uptime of the equipment. From the safety point of view, the liquid-gas separator is of great significance. If the gas contains too much liquid, it may trigger an abnormal rise in pressure, increasing the risk of explosion and leakage. By separating liquids in a timely and effective manner, liquid-gas separators can significantly reduce such safety hazards and provide a strong guarantee for the safety of employees’ lives and corporate property.In addition, liquid-gas separators help to save energy and resources. The separated pure gas can be utilised more efficiently, reducing the waste of energy. At the same time, if the separated liquid can be recycled and reused, it can also improve the utilisation rate of resources and reduce production costs. Finally, the liquid-gas separator also has a positive impact on environmental protection. It can reduce the emission of waste gas and liquid, reduce the pollution of the atmosphere, soil and water, so that enterprises can better fulfil their social responsibility and meet the increasingly stringent environmental regulations.

To sum up, the liquid-gas separator brings significant benefits in improving production efficiency, protecting equipment, ensuring product quality, ensuring safety, saving energy resources and protecting the environment, etc. It is an indispensable and important part of modern industrial production.