Bubble Caps vs Valve Trays vs Structured Packing

Natural gas produced from a reservoir usually contains a large amount of water. Glycol dehydrators are typically used to separate water and water vapours from natural gas and natural gas liquids or NGLs.

A glycol dehydration unit consists of several components, including a gas inlet separator, dehydration contactor, reboiler, heater exchangers, and pumps. It is also made using other elements such as bubble caps and valve traps or trays.

Let us look at what these elements are and how they help remove water from natural gas.

  • Bubble Caps vs Valve Trays vs Structured Packing

    Image Source: wermac.org

  • Bubble Caps vs Valve Trays vs Structured Packing

    Image Source: wermac.org

What is a Bubble Cap Tray in a Glycol Dehydration Unit?

A bubble cap device in a glycol contactor consists of a cap and a riser. It helps to promote the contact between the glycol liquid and the natural gas. The cap is fitted over a vent, and the riser is used to cover the bubble cap tray. Vapour rises through the chimney, and the cap helps to direct it downward, discharging the vapours through the slots in it.

Bubble caps have a high turn-down ratio and are commonly used for low liquid loads. They offer high performance when operated in dynamic balance and optimum conditions.

What are Valve Traps?

A valve tray aids in mixing the liquid and gas and is designed to maximize vapour-liquid contact in the unit. It is available in a variety of styles from single pass to multi-downcomer and can be customized to meet specific operating needs. Valve traps or trays have perforations that are covered by caps that are liftable. As the gas rises, it raises the cap, creating a flow area. The cap then directs the vapours to flow through horizontally into the liquid, providing better mixing.

What is Structured Packing?

Structured packing refers to the materials used in distillation and absorption columns. It is made using a variety of materials, including thin corrugated metal gauzes or plates, and is arranged in a honeycomb structure. Structured packing is designed to allow liquids to flow in a way that helps to produce a wide surface area for contact between different mediums or phases. They offer the following benefits:

  • Additional interfacial area for contact between liquid and vapour.
  • Improved liquid-vapour separation efficiency.
  • Compact design that occupies less space.

We Offer Customized Glycol Dehydrators that Meet Your Needs

At Aspire Energy Resources Inc., we have over 25 years of experience in providing design and fabrication services. We have an expert team to understand your needs and come up with the best possible solutions. We offer customized glycol dehydration units to suit different operating requirements. We have a variety of glycol contactors with valve trays, bubble cap trays, or structured packing. Our units are configured for easy onsite installation.

For more information about our products, including components such as bubble caps, valve trays, and structure packing, please reach out to our team by calling 403-314-5422 or 1-800-993-9958. You could also request a project quote by filling out our online form.

Request a Project Discussion: 403-314-5422 or

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