Mercury Speciation Analysis of Refinery Feedstocks

Mercury detection in crude oil, feedstocks, and petroleum refined products.

Intertek measures the presence of mercury species in refinery feedstocks, providing accurate ppm and ppb measurements of mercury concentration, and mercury in its various states. Mercury analysis is provided for hydrocarbon feedstocks and the distribution of mercury across the boiling range in its various chemical forms. Specialized mercury analysis and mercury speciation techniques rapidly detect the presence of trace level mercury species in petroleum feedstocks and refined products.

Mercury presents risks for petroleum refineries:

  • Elemental Mercury amalgamates with aluminium alloys, cause materials brittleness in refinery installations.
  • Organo Mercury species are toxic and require special HSE measures.
  • Ionic Mercury species are water soluble and have specific implications on preventing the Mercury to spread throughout the refinery.
  • Mercuric Chloride is one of the most toxic forms, as it forms organo mercury complexes with proteins.
  • Mercury species can poison catalysts. Platinum and rhenium catalysts used in catalytic reforming processes are especially sensitive to Mercury.

Trace mercury in crude oil testing: 

  • GC-ICP-MS (0.1ppb detection limit)
    • Elemental Mercury
    • Dialkyl Mercury compounds
    • Monoalkyl Mercury compounds
    • Ionic Mercury compounds
    • GC/ICP/MS picks up all Mercury species except particulates
     
  • Combustion Amalgamation (1 ppb detection limit)
    • Total Mercury content
    • Picks up all Mercury species, including particulates
     
  • Cold Vapour AA/UV spectrometer (1 ppb detection limit)
      • Gas samples
      • Mercury sulphide
      • Technique of choice for aqueous samples
 
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