• UOP Adsorbent Solutions Help Prevent Mercury Contamination

Environmental Laboratory

UOP Adsorbent Solutions Help Prevent Mercury Contamination

Mar 31 2015

Mercury can be a primary cause of corrosion, equipment failure and downstream catalyst deactivation in gas processing facilities. For more than 60 years, Honeywell’s UOP has continued to modernise the adsorbent industry, from inventing the first commercially-produced synthetic zeolites, to developing a range of innovative, copper-promoted alumina products. Today, UOP offers a broad portfolio of regenerable and non-regenerable adsorbents capable of removing mercury down to part-per-trillion levels to help ensure employee safety and the long-term operation of your facility’s equipment.

Mercury occurs naturally and is present in many of the world’s natural gas fields. Concentrations have increased from single digit part-per-billion levels in some areas of the world, to thousands of parts-per-billion in many of the world’s gas reservoirs.

Why is mercury removal important?

The brazed aluminum heat exchangers commonly found in liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, cryogenic hydrocarbon recovery plants and petrochemical plants are particularly susceptible to liquid-metal embrittlement (LME) caused by mercury. LME is extremely corrosive, and it can initiate cracks and further propagation of these fissures within equipment. Over the past several decades, LME has been responsible for a number of failures of brazed aluminum heat exchangers, resulting in unscheduled plant shutdowns, costly repairs and even fires.

Additional consequences of mercury may include:

  • Contamination - Mercury is mobile and will adsorb onto pipeline surfaces and other equipment; it can then desorb back into gas streams, contaminating the product for transportation
  • Deactivation - Mercury can deactivate downstream catalysts in petrochemical plants
  • Concentration - Mercury can concentrate and drop out as liquid in colder sections of the plant, making subsequent maintenance difficult.

UOP mercury removal technologies

With the advent of better analytical techniques, it is possible to measure and remove low levels of mercury before it threatens pipeline assets, gas plants equipment and the environment. UOP offers effective, fixed-bed solutions for removing mercury from natural gas, hydrocarbon liquids for petrochemicals and refining, including:

  • UOP GB copper-based adsorbents
  • UOP HgSIV™ molecular sieve regenerative adsorbents.

As the gas or liquid flows through the fixed bed, mercury is retained by the adsorbent and remains in the vessel, resulting in effluent gas or liquid hydrocarbon that has mercury levels within typical industry targets.

Global service and support for your adsorbents needs

UOP offers unparallel service and support to help ensure you maximise the use and life of your UOP adsorbent. Our highly-trained and experienced staff is positioned around the world, and dedicated to quickly and efficiently meeting your business needs. Some of the services we offer include:

  • Process design to determine optimal configuration and operating conditions for your application
  • Start-up assistance to ensure on-time and effective product implementation
  • Performance evaluations to facilitate preventative action
  • Troubleshooting to diagnose problems
  • Operations analysis to help improve your productivity and profitability using world-class UOP laboratory, pilot plant and simulator resources.

Find Out More

If you are interested in learning more, please contact your UOP representative or visit us online.


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