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Solubility of Mercury in Selected Gas Processing Solvents, Oct 2020


RR-246 is the third in the series of GPA Midstream Association research reports addressing mercury in the Gas Processing industry. Mercury is both a potential environmental burden and a destructive component e.g. in cryogenic expander plants that use brazed aluminium exchangers. For these reasons it is important for the gas processor to understand how mercury moves through a processing facility and how to eliminate it where necessary. In RR-191 the State of Mercury Removal Technology was reviewed, and in RR-224 the equilibrium of mercury in hydrocarbons was reported. The current report addresses the solubility of mercury in common gas processing solvents. These data are of special significance since the reject streams in these units – overhead streams from amine or glycol stills – are often emitted to the atmosphere. The findings of this report include some critical comparisons with existing solubility data and greatly expand the data base of solvents of interest. This will allow a much-improved assessment of the destination of mercury in gas processing and fractionation facilities. This report also shines a light on the complexity of the study of mercury in the industry: this series of GPA Midstream research reports is focused on elemental mercury. But this report also demonstrates that mercury in ionic forms (e.g. mercury oxide) may ‘behave’ quite differently, resulting in very different solubility levels. While the data in a laboratory setting can – and must – isolate specific forms of mercury for study the real world sees a mixture of these compounds. This fact points to the need for further investigation to allow a comprehensive assessment of the fate of mercury in our facilities. RR-246 reports the findings of GPA Midstream Project 193. Its innovative techniques and high-quality results are a remarkable achievement that will be appreciated by all who have endeavored the study of mercury.

Dr. Warren T. Corns, Gianmarco de Feo MSc, Dr. Matthew A. Dexter - P S Analytical, Orpington, UK

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