Mercury Speciation and Distribution in an Egyptian Natural Gas Processing Plant

Mohamed F Ezzeldin, Zuzana Gajdosechova, Mohamed B. Masod, Tamer Zaki, Jorg Feldmann, Eva M. Krupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Unprocessed petroleum hydrocarbons often contain high concentrations of mercury (Hg), which can severely damage the metal components of a processing plant and pose a health risk to the workers and the natural environment. While Hg removal units can significantly reduce the Hg concentration in the export products, they are often installed in the final stage of the processing plant, thus failing to protect the production facilities. In this study, Hg distribution within a natural gas processing plant was studied in order to identify the most effective place for an Hg removal unit. Additionally, impact of sampling container materials and their acidification was evaluated and Hg species in the condensate were quantified. Total Hg concentration was significantly higher in all samples stored in the glass in comparison with plastic containers. However, the acidification effect of the containers was more pronounced for Hg in non-polar solutions. Interestingly, the assessment of Hg distribution within the gas plant showed that the export gas is being enriched in Hg, which concentration has risen from 1.25 to 4.11 µg/Sm3 during the processing steps. The 2nd stage separator was identified as the source of excess Hg, which partitioned from the liquid phase of condensate to the gas phase as a result of reduced operational pressure and temperature. The dominant Hg species found in the analyzed gas condensates were elemental Hg (Hg0) and inorganic Hg, with the methylmercury fraction comprising up to 18%. However, it was also found that the % fraction of individual Hg species varied along the plant units most probably as a result of Hg0 migration to the export gas. Therefore, in order to protect all treatment facilities from Hg contamination, the Hg removal unit should be installed after the 2nd stage compressor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10236-10243
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy & Fuels
Volume30
Issue number12
Early online date27 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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Mercury
Natural gas
Acidification
Gases
Processing
Containers
Plastic containers
Gas plants
Gas condensates
Health risks
Petroleum
Hydrocarbons
Separators
Compressors
Contamination
Crude oil
Metals
Sampling
Glass
Liquids

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Mercury Speciation and Distribution in an Egyptian Natural Gas Processing Plant. / Ezzeldin, Mohamed F; Gajdosechova, Zuzana; Masod, Mohamed B. ; Zaki, Tamer ; Feldmann, Jorg; Krupp, Eva M.

In: Energy & Fuels, Vol. 30, No. 12, 2016, p. 10236-10243.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ezzeldin, Mohamed F ; Gajdosechova, Zuzana ; Masod, Mohamed B. ; Zaki, Tamer ; Feldmann, Jorg ; Krupp, Eva M. / Mercury Speciation and Distribution in an Egyptian Natural Gas Processing Plant. In: Energy & Fuels. 2016 ; Vol. 30, No. 12. pp. 10236-10243.
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abstract = "Unprocessed petroleum hydrocarbons often contain high concentrations of mercury (Hg), which can severely damage the metal components of a processing plant and pose a health risk to the workers and the natural environment. While Hg removal units can significantly reduce the Hg concentration in the export products, they are often installed in the final stage of the processing plant, thus failing to protect the production facilities. In this study, Hg distribution within a natural gas processing plant was studied in order to identify the most effective place for an Hg removal unit. Additionally, impact of sampling container materials and their acidification was evaluated and Hg species in the condensate were quantified. Total Hg concentration was significantly higher in all samples stored in the glass in comparison with plastic containers. However, the acidification effect of the containers was more pronounced for Hg in non-polar solutions. Interestingly, the assessment of Hg distribution within the gas plant showed that the export gas is being enriched in Hg, which concentration has risen from 1.25 to 4.11 µg/Sm3 during the processing steps. The 2nd stage separator was identified as the source of excess Hg, which partitioned from the liquid phase of condensate to the gas phase as a result of reduced operational pressure and temperature. The dominant Hg species found in the analyzed gas condensates were elemental Hg (Hg0) and inorganic Hg, with the methylmercury fraction comprising up to 18{\%}. However, it was also found that the {\%} fraction of individual Hg species varied along the plant units most probably as a result of Hg0 migration to the export gas. Therefore, in order to protect all treatment facilities from Hg contamination, the Hg removal unit should be installed after the 2nd stage compressor.",
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note = "Mohamed F. Ezzeldin is very grateful for the financial support provided by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Egypt), for providing the samples and all logistics by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (Egypt) and the University of Aberdeen (UK) is also acknowledged for the support of this PhD project.",
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AU - Feldmann, Jorg

AU - Krupp, Eva M.

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N2 - Unprocessed petroleum hydrocarbons often contain high concentrations of mercury (Hg), which can severely damage the metal components of a processing plant and pose a health risk to the workers and the natural environment. While Hg removal units can significantly reduce the Hg concentration in the export products, they are often installed in the final stage of the processing plant, thus failing to protect the production facilities. In this study, Hg distribution within a natural gas processing plant was studied in order to identify the most effective place for an Hg removal unit. Additionally, impact of sampling container materials and their acidification was evaluated and Hg species in the condensate were quantified. Total Hg concentration was significantly higher in all samples stored in the glass in comparison with plastic containers. However, the acidification effect of the containers was more pronounced for Hg in non-polar solutions. Interestingly, the assessment of Hg distribution within the gas plant showed that the export gas is being enriched in Hg, which concentration has risen from 1.25 to 4.11 µg/Sm3 during the processing steps. The 2nd stage separator was identified as the source of excess Hg, which partitioned from the liquid phase of condensate to the gas phase as a result of reduced operational pressure and temperature. The dominant Hg species found in the analyzed gas condensates were elemental Hg (Hg0) and inorganic Hg, with the methylmercury fraction comprising up to 18%. However, it was also found that the % fraction of individual Hg species varied along the plant units most probably as a result of Hg0 migration to the export gas. Therefore, in order to protect all treatment facilities from Hg contamination, the Hg removal unit should be installed after the 2nd stage compressor.

AB - Unprocessed petroleum hydrocarbons often contain high concentrations of mercury (Hg), which can severely damage the metal components of a processing plant and pose a health risk to the workers and the natural environment. While Hg removal units can significantly reduce the Hg concentration in the export products, they are often installed in the final stage of the processing plant, thus failing to protect the production facilities. In this study, Hg distribution within a natural gas processing plant was studied in order to identify the most effective place for an Hg removal unit. Additionally, impact of sampling container materials and their acidification was evaluated and Hg species in the condensate were quantified. Total Hg concentration was significantly higher in all samples stored in the glass in comparison with plastic containers. However, the acidification effect of the containers was more pronounced for Hg in non-polar solutions. Interestingly, the assessment of Hg distribution within the gas plant showed that the export gas is being enriched in Hg, which concentration has risen from 1.25 to 4.11 µg/Sm3 during the processing steps. The 2nd stage separator was identified as the source of excess Hg, which partitioned from the liquid phase of condensate to the gas phase as a result of reduced operational pressure and temperature. The dominant Hg species found in the analyzed gas condensates were elemental Hg (Hg0) and inorganic Hg, with the methylmercury fraction comprising up to 18%. However, it was also found that the % fraction of individual Hg species varied along the plant units most probably as a result of Hg0 migration to the export gas. Therefore, in order to protect all treatment facilities from Hg contamination, the Hg removal unit should be installed after the 2nd stage compressor.

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