»Mercury in Hydrocarbon
Mercury is a naturally occurring trace constituent of hydrocarbons including natural gas and natural gas liquids. The risks of trace concentrations of mercury in process streams includes not only the concern for worker health and safety but also the potential for damage to process systems (i.e., cryogenic trains in NGL and LNG plants) and emissions to the environment. Produced mercury is an emerging issue in US Shale Plays, Deep Shelf Gas plus certain Deep-Water Plays in the Gulf of Mexico and as such companies should understand their risks to personnel, process and the environment and the impact to the assets total economic life-cycle.
In an effort to solve the complex problems arising from risks associated with production and processing of hydrocarbons impacted with mercury, ISCT has established a research and development program focused on mercury and toxic metals chemical decontamination solutions. Mercury and its compounds are soluble in hydrocarbon process streams (crude oil and gas condensates) and the partitioning of mercury into product and effluent streams present complicated waste management problems. Additionally, decommissioning of process equipment and vessels contaminated with mercury present new and complicated issues that need solving in the near future as there are many oil and gas assets globally that have operated past their economic development and require decommissioning.