Mercury present in hydrocarbon process streams can react with process equipment surfaces depositing in elemental form and other chemical forms presenting corrosion risks to various metallurgies along with worker health and safety concerns. Inspection activities associated with process equipment can expose workers to mercury through inhalation of mercury vapors as well as dermal contact.
Certain precautions are required when inspecting process equipment or planning equipment modifications. PEI has developed proprietary chemistry and chemical process and has qualified teams to decontaminate piping, vessels, and other equipment both offshore and onshore.
Mercury in produced hydrocarbon fluids and gases reacts with and chemically modifies steel piping and process equipment surfaces such that elemental mercury vapor is emitted to the work environment when vessels are opened for maintenance and inspection. There is some debate that mercury can diffuse into the steel matrix through some mechanism other than adsorption. Thermal desorption tests show a substantial amount of mercury is desorbed around 200°C indicating mercury strongly adsorbs or chemisorbs to steel surfaces.
PEI has the expertise and experience to perform mercury chemical decontamination on offshore production and gathering platforms,subsea and land-based natural gas pipelines and onshore hydrocarbon processing plants.