Drilling for natural gas can be big business. Many of the appliances found in residential homes are powered by natural gas. Pipelines connect suppliers and consumers, allowing for the safe and effective transfer of natural gas from the source.
Triethylene glycol, commonly referred to as TEG, is a substance that serves a critical role within the natural gas industry. Understanding the functions TEG serves will allow you to feel more confident in the delivery of your natural gas in the future.
What is TEG?
TEG is a substance that is created as a co-product during the oxidation of ethylene. The ethylene is exposed to silver oxide catalysts during processing, then hydrated by ethylene oxide to create the TEG.
TEG is a colorless, odorless, and stable liquid product that has many useful characteristics. Natural gas suppliers utilize TEG as an additive to the supply of natural gas that runs through their pipelines each day.
What does TEG do?
The primary purpose of TEG in natural gas reserves is to remove excess water prior to the delivery of the natural gas. TEG has the unique ability to attract water molecules. Each water molecule is bound to the TEG, which can easily be separated from the natural gas.
The water-laden TEG is heated to extreme temperatures and put through a condenser. The condenser causes the TEG to release the water it carries. The TEG can then be recycled and used within the system to treat additional supplies of natural gas.
Why is TEG important?
The addition of TEG to natural gas reserves is essential when it comes to the successful delivery of natural gas from the source to the consumers who rely on the gas each day. Since natural gas travels through a series of pipelines, any water that is contained within the natural gas has the potential to freeze when the pipelines are exposed to cool temperatures.
A frozen pipeline can disrupt the supply of natural gas and allow gas reserves to leak out into the surrounding environment. These leaks could pose a safety risk to the public or serve as a fire hazard if ignited. TEG helps to dehumidify natural gas so that water molecules that are naturally found within the gas will not have the opportunity to freeze inside delivery pipelines.
TEG is required for the safe and efficient delivery of natural gas. Natural gas suppliers rely on adequate stores of TEG to ensure the safety of natural gas delivery systems.