Sweet and Sour take on a whole new meaning!
A career as a gas plant operator is all about turning sour into sweet. So what does it take to become a gas plant operator? Math and Science!
Understanding chemistry and your equipment is a must if you are going to go from sour to sweet –safely! Sour gas comes from the ground containing impurities that must be removed. One impurity called hydrogen sulfide is poisonous, and exposure can be deadly. Safety is key when removing and disposing of it. Hydrogen sulfide and another impurity called carbon dioxide are removed using the same process - passing the gas through a compound that literally pulls the impurities out. To remove a third impurity, water, the gas is dehydrated in a process called adsorption. In this process a gel is added to the gas and the water sticks to it. The gas then exits the processing unit “dry”.
Once the gas is free of hydrogen sulfide, it is sweet – but still isn’t ready for use. It needs to be separated in to four parts: ethane, propane, butane and methane. The natural gas that we use in homes is made up almost entirely of methane. So what happens to the other parts? They are very valuable to industries that use them as raw materials and in the production of energy.
As a gas plant operator you’ll monitor the plant’s instrumentation gauges, keeping track of the temperature, pressure, level and flow of the gas. Plus, you’ll be responsible for some pretty cool equipment like compressors, evaporators, and scrubbers. But your biggest task will be to do your day’s work while ensuring the safety of your coworkers and the equipment.
To become a gas plant operator you typically need to complete your grade 12 diploma, with a concentration on math and science (including chemistry and physics). Then you can complete a 1 to 2-year technical or vocational certification related to gas plant operator training, such as the Power Engineering Certificate.
Before you prepare for a career as a gas plant operator, or change your career direction, make sure there is a good fit with who you are and what you want. Check out this website to read about 500+ occupations. Plus get information on everything from job duties, working conditions, salaries and advancement opportunities to personal characteristics and educational qualifications.