Gas sweetening process, also known as acid gas removal process, is a method of removing hydrogen sulphide (H2S) from gasses in order to get rid of its sour and foul odor. The process is also referred to as amine gas treating method or amine scrubbing method. In this process, various aqueous solutions of alkylamines are used to remove hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide from the gasses.
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The gas sweetening chemicals market can be segmented into product categories based on the types of amines used for the gas sweetening process. Different amine types used for the process are primary amines which include monoethanolamine (MEA) and diglycolamine (DGA), secondary amines which include diethanolamine (DEA) and diisopropanolamine (DIPA), and tertiary amines which include triethanolamine (TEA) and methyldiethanolamine (MDEA). Primary amines are the earliest types of amines used for the process of gas sweetening. Diethanolamine, monoethanolamine, and methyldiethanolamine are commonly used for industrial plants. Monoethanolamine constituted the major share of the gas sweetening chemicals market across the globe in 2016. About 20% of monoethanolamine is sufficient for the removal of hydrogen sulphide from the gasses, whereas, 20% to 25% of diethanolamine, and 30% to 55% of methyldiethanolamine is required for the removal of hydrogen sulphide from the solution. Gas sweetening chemicals find major applications in industries such as oil refineries, petrochemical plants, natural gas processing plants, and others. In oil refineries, gas sweetening chemicals are used to remove sour gas from liquid hydrocarbons such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). In biogas plants, the product is used to remove carbon dioxide from biogas in order to make it comparable with the natural. Removal of high content of hydrogen sulfide is essential in order to prevent corrosion of metallic parts after burning the biogas. Gas sweetening chemicals are also used to remove carbon dioxide from solutions in various industries such as food & beverages, coal plants, and others.
Asia Pacific constituted the major share of the global gas sweetening chemicals market in 2016. Increase in demand for natural gas in the region, especially in countries such as China, India, and other ASEAN countries is projected to render substantial local and global benefits to the gas sweetening chemicals market. Factors such as rapid industrialization and urbanization are expected to drive the demand for gas sweetening chemicals in the region. Industrialization has led to growth in number of manufacturing activities in Asia Pacific region, while urbanization has shaped the need for improved public services. Demand for gas sweetening chemicals in North America is projected to rise at a steady pace during the forecast period. Increase in oil and gas exploration activities coupled with high demand from the packaged food industry are projected to propel the gas sweetening chemicals market in the region. Wide application of gas sweetening chemicals in end-use industries such as agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals is estimated to benefit the industry dynamics of North America. Middle East & Africa and Latin America account for an average share of the gas sweetening chemicals market. The share of these regions are projected to rise at a steady pace during the forecast period across the globe.
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Key players operating in the gas sweetening market across the globe include Huntsman Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, BASF SE, SABIC, INEOS Group Ltd., and DuPont.