Discussed in the white paper is the issues refiners face in addressing NORM contaminated equipment. We then discuss an in-depth case history about a recent application completed on a depropanizer in Texas.
Our exclusive chemical, FQE NORM-Clear is used for the migitation of radioactive scale in oil and gas processing equipment – eliminating the need for mechanical cleaning.
One of the standard industry accepted practices for NORM removal is high pressure and ultra-high pressure water jetting up to 40,000PSI for the physical/mechanical removal of the NORM scale. This process is both time and personnel intensive, often requiring careful control and containment of the scale solids. In addition, mechanical methods are not often capable of reaching areas within equipment that can be accessed through a liquid chemical application and treatment.
Reverse osmosis is the process of using pressure to force a water component through a semi-permeable membrane while retaining ions of dissolved solids. This practice is useful in desalination of contaminated waters with no utility for the extraction of the radioactive salts from contaminated hard surfaces such as soils or equipment. In waste water purification, the methodology will not target radioactive substances, separating all ions of the solute present in the water. The membranes can blind-off and are often expensive in practice.
Chelation processes suffer from the same inefficiency of non-specificity as reverse osmosis. The success of such processes is dependent on the tendency of the metal ion to form a ligand bond with the chelating chemical in use. Since Radium has the lowest affinity for forming a complex, all other metal cations will complex before Radium, requiring more chelating agent to achieve the reaction. The requirement for such an excess of chelating agent for Radium chelation is problematic when large amounts of other metal compounds are also present.