PEI's mercury and chemical services group is one of the world's premier toxic metal process stream measurements and remediation service groups. The group draws upon over 75 years of collective experience in project management and execution for all sectors of the hydrocarbon processing industry. The group's combined resources and experience have earned it a reputation as a leader in trace metals sampling and analysis, plant-wide mercury assessments, distribution, speciation, and partitioning studies to support the accurate development of operational mercury management plans including chemical decontamination and spent chemistry processing plans. Our team provides comprehensive mercury assessment, management, and decontamination services and develops process-specific solutions for our clients designed to protect people, process systems, and the environment. PEI and research partners have advanced process stream measurement and mercury chemical decontamination technologies to state-of-the-art.
Mercury is a naturally occurring trace constituent of natural gas and natural gas liquids. The concentrations of mercury in hydrocarbons globally vary widely based on geographic region, source rock and many other factors. Certain geographical areas and natural gas reservoirs are known to produce mercury concentrations that are of concern to worker health and safety, process equipment, and the environment.
The significance of trace concentrations of mercury in natural gas includes not only the concern for worker health and safety but also the potential for damage to gas processing equipment, primarily cryogenic systems. The potential for damage and even catastrophic failure of aluminum heat exchangers has been well documented and is a risk even at trace mercury concentrations depending on gas composition, aluminum alloys, production and other factors.
Mercury exists in crude oil in several chemical forms at concentrations that can be harmful to the refining process by poisoning catalyst and degrading the quality of refined products. As with gas processing, refining crude oil with trace concentrations of mercury presents certain worker health and safety concerns, processing hazards, and environmental risks. Refining mercury-laden crudes can generate aqueous and solid waste streams with elevated levels of mercury requiring special processing technologies to remove mercury and other contaminates. World-wide this is emerging as one of the most critical aspects of mercury management and as such the PEI research and development team have developed chemical and processing solutions for spent chemistries used in chemical decontamination along with de-inventory fluids and turnaround condensates.