Mercury recovery from industrial waste and toxic residues of natural gas drilling

Courtesy of econ industries services GmbH

econ's client in the east of Germany is one of the few specialised companies in Europe for the treatment of mercury contaminated waste. Typical input material for this type of treatment is sludge from the natural gas industry or other residues from chemical processes, i.e. contaminated filter cake from waste water treat-ment. Among their most important clients are Shell, ExxonMobil, Wintershall AG, RWE DEA AG.

Since 2002 the client operates an econ Thermal Desorption plant, specially designed for the treatment of sludge with natural occurring radioactivity (oil and natural gas NORM). The plant is designed as a skid-mounted execution for on-site treatment. To double their capacity a second AVA plant was ordered and commissioned in 2009. This plant is a custom-made design, built on 6 years of successful operational experience. The plant is supplied with a thermal oil heating unit, which has the in-built option for future expansion.

The prime aim of the thermal processing plant – besides the removal of water and typical rinsing agents such as Benzol, Toluol or lube oil - is to recover the mercury content for further recycling. In a seperate dust-free process the remaining cleaned solids are cooled and re-moistened. Due to some occurring heavy metal content and some natural occurring radioactivity the treated solid residue is immobilised with chemical polymers before final disposal.  

Performance data

  • Vacuum Dryer type: HTC-VT 1000
  • Batch size: 700 litre
  • Heating system: 180 kW / 350 °C thermal oil unit - heated by natural gas
  • Operating pressure: 50 - 800 mbar(abs)
  • Mercury content output: 1 - 10 ppm

Design characteristics

  • Optimal accessibility for maintenance and repair work
  • Additional flushing device for cleaning of piping system
  • Due to natural occuring radioactivity inside the product, best possible dust lining necessary
  • Special vacuum tight discharge system for separation of liquefied lead contents during process
  • Separately recovered contaminants by fractional condensation
  • Two condensate lines for contaminants, stand-by solution for highest plant availability

Reviews disabled

Reviews have been disabled for Mercury recovery from industrial waste and toxic residues of natural gas drilling.