Khalda Petroleum Company has mercury removal unit at its Salam gas processing plant in Egypt's Western Desert, which are intended to protect the downstream aluminum heat exchangers from mercury corrosion.
Last year, the mercury removal adsorbent was exposed to liquid entrainment due to liquid condensation upstream the mercury removal unit. The liquid entrainment caused (1) physical damage to the absorbent pellets which became one solid, cement-like block inside the vessel, and (2) higher levels of mercury in the treated gas. Therefore, the absorbent had to be offloaded and replaced to improve the unit performance.
This article will present the reasons of the liquid condensation upstream the mercury unit and show how (1) the problem was solved, (2) the absorbents were replaced, and (3) the liquid condensation was avoided.