Reciprocating compressor lubrication – lubricant dilution with natural gas species and the impact on lubrication rates at various operating conditions
Reciprocating compressors are ubiquitous in the natural gas industry as they provide much of the pressure necessary to move natural gas from the wellhead to the customer. Many of these compressors use lubricants to reduce friction and wear at the piston-cylinder interface. These lubricants have a difficult job for many reasons, but one phenomenon is often overlooked: gas solubility. Natural gas is soluble in the lubricant at high pressures and mixes with, or dilutes, the lubricant. Recent research has demonstrated that this dilution may reduce a lubricant's viscosity so far that the lubricant ...
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