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BLACK POWDER IN PIPELINE

1. INTRODUCTION Black Powder is a general term used to describe a host of corrosion related contaminants found in pipelines that transport natural gas, hydrocarbon condensates, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Black powder has become an important factor in natural gas pipelines. It can also make its way from the pipeline to downstream processes damaging equipment through plugging and erosion.  Excess of grease used to seal passing metal seated ball valve. The grease is agglomerating powder in cyclone.

Upsets in pipeline can cause: Concentration to increase suddenly and significantly, due to scraping or drop in pressure that causes carry-over of solids due to higher velocities.

3. CHARACTERISTIC OF BLACK POWDER Followings are the main characteristics of black powder:  Hardness higher than steel -Very erosive  Very fine contaminants, forming agglomerates in micron size range –typically 1-10 micron-Easy to transport, difficult to catch  May be pyrophoric and may contain toxic components-Need for appropriate handling procedure

2. CAUSE OF BLACK POWDER

Black powder mainly consists of iron compounds such as magnetite (mill scale) and iron sulfide and includes sand and clay, salt, weld spatter and even metallic iron. It is generated during gas production or in wet gas pipelines when hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide or oxygen is present in the gas, by bacterial corrosion of the steel, or from construction when lines are not cleaned adequately. 4. HOW TO REMOVE BLACK POWDER  Remains of pipeline commissioning

Black powder in pipeline can be removed via different technologies available in the market. The standards arrangement for black powder removal is similar for most technology providers except variation in cyclone separator design. The typical arrangement used in black powder removal are as shown below:

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6-7 psi for tubes). Due to gravity action heavy particles settle at the bottom of the vessel for disposal. thus: No risk of plugging due Page 2 of 3 .BLACK POWDER IN PIPELINE Typical process flow diagram as shown below for black powder removal arrangement is used in the oil and gas sector.   to biggest particles and debris during scraping Minimal pressure drop is generated (<0. Settled heavy particles are taken out by vacuum truck. and stable performance at very low flow rates (turndown)  b) Multi tube separators a) Internal free separator Gas with black powder contents inter cyclone separator from the side of the vessel top and due to swirling motion heavy particles get settled at the bottom of the vessel. Advantage of an internal-free cyclone:  Cyclonic separation takes place in the vessel body. Advantage of a cyclo-tube separator:  Required less equipment foot print  Easy installation  Compact in size c) Cartridge filters Cartridge type filter is mostly used in gas pipeline to remove black powder of more than >2 microns particles. In multi tube separator gas inter from the side of the vessel and pass to tubes arranged in multiple numbers. No risk of erosion due to operation at low velocities so that standard materials of construction can be used Better efficiency for small particulates due to stable flow pattern.5 psi vs.

CONCLUSION Black Powder can vary considerably in size distribution. Depending on solids loading and particle size distribution. and chemical composition. either absolute filters or cyclo-filters are recommended as effective means to remove Black Powder. d) Pall technology e) PECO technology Page 3 of 3 .BLACK POWDER IN PIPELINE 5. quantity.