Controlling mercury in ethylene plants: New strategies and trade-offs
Mercury enters ethylene plants with the hydrocarbon cracker feedstock, and must be removed from the process to protect plant equipment from corrosion and to minimise catalyst poisoning.
Traditionally, ethylene plant designers have located the mercury removal unit after the cracked gas driers. However, several new options for mercury removal have been proven effective in the last two decades.
Selective Adsorption Associates, Inc. (SAA) has over 15 years’ experience in designing mercury removal systems for ethylene plants and 25 years’ experience with MRU’s in hydrocarbon processing facilities. SAA’s Chief Process Engineer discusses old and new options for mercury removal in ethylene plants, their advantages, disadvantages, and the trade-offs involved in designing mercury removal systems for ethylene plants to optimise feedstock flexibility, capital cost, operating cost, and plant reliability.