Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 135, Issue 3, pp 1943–1949 | Cite as

Hydrodesulfurization unit for natural gas condensate

Simulation based on Aspen Plus software
  • Javad AhmadpourEmail author
  • Mahyar Ahmadi
  • Amirhossein Javdani


Nowadays, most of the world’s energy consumption is from fossil fuels. One of these fossil fuels is natural gas condensate which consists of various hydrocarbon components and could be used as the main fuel resource. However, these condensates contain sulfur contents (0.048 mass%) such as hydrogen sulfide, thiols (mercaptan), and aromatics, which are known as environmental pollutants. Hence, these sour hydrocarbon resources need to be purified to reduce the sulfur content. This study concerns the desulfurization of the natural gas condensate of South Pars field of Iran along with the elimination of disulfide oils of South Pars refinery, through hydrodesulfurization approach, which is simulated using Aspen Plus software. To reduce operating costs, unused hydrogen in outlet stream is recovered by the amine treatment. Purified condensates contain “petroleum cuts” which are classified by their boiling point ranges. These petroleum cuts from distillation unit are composed of butane, light naphtha, heavy naphtha, kerosene, and gasoil. The aim of this study is to reduce the sulfur content of these hydrocarbon cuts to less than 10 ppmw. The simulation results showed that the final products of distillation column were sulfur free (with sulfur content less than 1 ppmw). In this article, one optimization problem is formulated and solved using Aspen Plus software, to obtain the optimal stripper reflux ratio and feed stage. The objective function chosen in our optimization study is the minimization of the sulfur mass fraction at the bottom of stripper. To reduce the energy consumption, the effect of the reflux ratio on the reboiler and condenser duty was also studied by performing a sensitivity analysis. It was found that in the reflux ratio range from 3 up to 3.5 not only the mass fraction of sulfur at the bottom of the stripper was reduced but also the reboiler and condenser duty was minimized.


Gas condensates Disulfide oils Sulfur content Hydrodesulfurization Aspen Plus 


  1. 1.
    Audeh CA, inventor; ExxonMobil Oil Corp. Process for the removal of mercury from natural gas condensate. United States patent US 4,985,137. 1991.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Matos E, Guirardello R. Modeling and simulation of hydrodemetallation and hydrodesulfurization processes with transient catalytic efficiency. Braz J Chem Eng. 2000;17(2):171–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Marin-Rosas C. Middle distillate hydrotreatment zeolite catalysts containing Pt/Pd or Ni. Doctoral dissertation; 2009.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chen J, Te M, Yang H, Ring Z. Hydrodesulfurization of dibenzothiophenic compounds in a light cycle oil. Pet Sci Technol. 2003;21(5–6):911–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kadijani JA, Narimani E. Simulation of hydrodesulfurization unit for natural gas condensate with high sulfur content. Appl Pet Res. 2016;6(1):25–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gary JH, Handwerk GE, Kaiser MJ. Petroleum refining: technology and economics. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2007.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Morgott D, Lewis C, Bootman J, Banton M. Disulfide oil hazard assessment using categorical analysis and a mode of action determination. Int J Toxicol. 2014;33(1_suppl):181S–98S.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bilal S, Mohammed Dabo IA, Mujahid AU, Kasim SA, Nuhu M, Mohammed A, Abubakar HM, Yahaya UB, Habib A, Abubakar B, Aminu YZ. Simulation of hydrodesulphurization (HDS) unit of Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited. Chem Process Eng Res. 2013;13:29–35.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ordouei MH. Computer aided simulation and process design of a hydrogenation plant using ASPEN HYSYS 2006. Master’s thesis, University of Waterloo. 2009.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Roy PS, Amin MR. Aspen-HYSYS simulation of natural gas processing plant. J Chem Eng. 2012;26(1):62–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jiménez F, Kafarov V, Nuñez M. Computer-aided modeling for hydrodesulfurization, hydrodenitrogenation and hydrodearomatization simultaneous reactions in a hydrotreating industrial process. Comput Aided Chem Eng. 2006;21:651–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Arce-Medina E, Paz-Paredes JI. Artificial neural network modeling techniques applied to the hydrodesulfurization process. Math Comput Model. 2009;49(1–2):207–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sandler SI. Using Aspen Plus in thermodynamics instruction: a step-by-step guide. New York: Wiley; 2015.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gheni SA, Jada’a WA. Inhibitory study for joint reactions of hydrodesulphurization and hydrodenitrogenation during hydrotreating of vacuum gas oil. In: Proceedings of the world congress on engineering and computer science 2012 (vol 2).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chianelli R, Berhault G, Raybaud P, Kasztelan S, Hafner J, Toulhoat H. Periodic trends in hydrodesulfurization: in support of the Sabatier principle. Appl Catal A. 2002;227(1–2):83–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jechura J. Refinery feedstocks and products-properties & specifications. Colorado School of Mines, Colorado. 2017.

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chemical Engineering DepartmentBabol Noshirvani University of TechnologyBabolIran

Personalised recommendations