P S Analytical Limited
P S Analytical Limited

Mercury in the Petrochemical Industry – Applications for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

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Source: P S Analytical Limited

For many years P S Analytical has been at the forefront of developments relating to the measurement of mercury in the Petrochemical Industry.

P S Analytical’s measurement systems are based on the PSA 10.525 Sir Galahad atomic fluorescence instrument. The Sir Galahad is a very flexible system, and using a combination of hardware and software, the PSA Research and Development team have been able to configure the Sir Galahad to accommodate a wide range of sample types. Natural Gas and Syn Gas (containing high levels of hydrogen sulphide) have been regularly measured in both online and offline applications. Recently we have worked with a commercial company to provide a unique measurement system for liquefied natural gas. A fully automated system for this application has been operational for a number of years providing vital data to control the function of the plant. The Sir Galahad was developed with the Petrochemical industry in mind. Initially working with the Institute Français du Petrole (IFP) methods were developed to provide reliable measurements in natural gas streams. P S Analytical and the IFP have been providing analytical expertise in this area since that time.

Our continuous research and development programme has provided a number of developments which have resulted in the ability to provide both online and offline measurement systems to determine the mercury levels in petrochemicals. P S Analytical has worked with leading academic and commercial groups to resolve issues relating to sampling and the provision of accurate methods. Sampling representative aliquots of the gas, often at high pressures or liquefied natural gas are the major problems; P S Analytical has developed a reproducible sampling strategy that provides continuous online measurement of a number of sample streams both before and after mercury removal systems.

By working closely with experienced engineers onsite and using PSA's scientific background the team has been able to overcome the difficulties and obtain a representative sample. The sampling manifolds have been designed so that the measurement cycle can be completely separated from the plant itself. They are manufactured to conform to the latest international standards such as ATEX and Cenelac standards (equivalent to North American DIV 1, Class 1, Gas Group A&B). The stainless steel enclosures meet IP65 requirements and the complete system was manufactured to ISO 9001 Quality System standards.

The installed systems incorporate a specially designed sampling manifold linked to bypass loops, which is controlled by the PSA Sir Galahad and a process control software suite of programmes. These systems operate around the clock to provide the production team with the data to reliably monitor the mercury levels in a safe and effective manner. Systems have been installed successfully in the UK, Bolivia, USA, Argentina, Tunisia and Thailand both onshore and on platforms. P S Analytical also provides the instrumentation of choice for a number of the major testing houses operating in this field around the world.

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