Determination of mercury in acid gas treatment process and its environmental impacts

International Journal of Development Research

Article ID: 
7 pages
Research Article

Determination of mercury in acid gas treatment process and its environmental impacts

El-Feky, A.A., Mohamed B. Masod, and Faramawy, S.


Mercury occurs naturally in unprocessed hydrocarbon streams, which can damage the equipment and contaminate the treatment fluids as well as pose a health risk to workers and the environment. Mercury was determined in all stream fluids for sweetening process (Benfield solution process) and composition analysis also determined to evaluate the performance of the process. Fourteen samples were collected from natural gas, Benfield solution, water, sludge and solid samples. Mercury was measured on-site for gas streams using cold vapor atomic absorption (CV-AAS) technique. Total Hg concentrations were measured for liquid streams and solid samples with AAS after digestion with a different technique. Vent gases (composed mainly of carbon dioxide) have high Hg concentration reached to 21.6 µg/Sm3 for Train2, emitted to the atmosphere without treatment. This study suggests that separate carbon dioxide and install Claus process for remove H2S and periodically monitor Hg for the treatment process and environment. Moreover, mercury contaminates the Benfield solution where the total Hg concentration of rich Benfield solution reached to 175.4 ng/g for Train2 but the lean Benfield solution free of mercury due to the regeneration process. Although water collected from reflux is condensed water, but it has high mercury content reached 122.1 ng/g for train1. Finally, solid and sludge samples collected from regeneration package contain mercury sulfide, which reached to 8.2 weight% of sludge sample. Therefore, the workers when cleaning the vessel from solid and sludge must take all safety precaution.

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