March, 2010

201001MarAll DayMercury in CrudePSF Safety Alert 004 Origin: PSF Lessons:Asset integrity,Operational IntegrityLanguage:EN


Mercury is present in most crudes, but occurs at elevated levels (above 10 ppb) in specific North Sea crudes and even higher levels in some gas field condensates. Also the level of mercury in North Sea crudes appears to be increasing with time.

Mercury can deposit as elemental mercury in specific equipment (e.g. crude distillation column overheads) risking exposing maintenance personnel to elevated levels of mercury vapour when they are inside the equipment during turnarounds.

Mercury can cause corrosion of aluminium-based alloys, some types of steels and some copper-based alloys, risking their premature failure via liquid metal embrittlement or amalgamation. Due to its vapour pressure, mercury concentrates in the lighter fractions such as naphtha and LPG



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