Analysis of Metals in Refinery Streams Using The ZSX Petro Series Spectrometers

Metal contaminants in crude oil are commonplace and often tell the diagensis of the oil released to the earth’s surface. In addition to sulfur, metals such as V, Ni and Fe are indicative of the crude oil’s origins.

Modern refinery processes are sensitive to these metals. In sufficient concentrations they significantly lower the yields of desired products during reaction cycles, and may even poison the catalysts used in these reactions.

Ref No. Area Analysis
1 Crude Oil Desalters Na, Ca, S, Ni, V, Fe, Cu, Zn, Bi, Pb, Hg and others
2 Atmospheric Bottoms Al, Si, Na, Ca, P
3 FCC Metals on Spent and Regenerated Catalyst
4 Reformate Low Level Sulfur
5 Sour Water Stripper Cl

Figure 1. Refinery Diagram and Metals Analysis (Wikipedia)

Removing Metal Contaminants from Process Streams

Part of the refining process is dedicated to removing these metals from the process streams in order to minimize unwanted side effects.

Process control limits exist to maximize refinery process yields and to contain costs by maximizing expensive catalysts lifetimes. Units have a catalyst regeneration cycle need to quantify their effectiveness. Part of the process optimization requires vigilant analysis of metals in all parts of the refinery streams to meet these process goals.

WDXRF Ideally Suited for Refinery Process

WDXRF is uniquely suited to be used in these multiple analytical needs, since the steps to prepare samples for analysis are straightforward and relatively quick. The methods can be extremely sensitive, with limits of detection for most metals being of the order of 0.2 - 1.0 ppm, thus allowing quantification of all metals down to 1 - 3ppm.

The ZSX Petro Series Spectrometers from Rigaku

Rigaku's ZSX Petro series spectrometers offer both 3 kW and 4 kW options. The Rigaku ultra-thin X-ray tube window allows superior performance for the light elements Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K and Ca, all of which play a crucial role in refinery processes performance.

Analysis of Metal Contaminants in Refinery Streams with The Scatter FP Software

Coupled with the Rigaku Scatter FP software, the ZSX Petro spectrometers are uniquely suited to provide accurate standardless analysis for a large number of metal contaminants in a variety of organic matrices.

The Scatter FP program accurately models the unmeasured portion of the material being analyzed and uses this model in the final refinements of the calculations. The improvement in accuracy utilizing this Rigaku software feature over conventional semi-quant programs used in the industry can be as large as 95%.

Table 1. Standardless Scatter FP results vs Conventional FP results for Conostan S-21 500ppm

Element
Al
Si
P
S
Ca
Ti
V
Cr
Mn
Fe
Ni
Cu
Zn
Sr
Mo
Cd
Sn
Ba
Pb
Std. value
0.050
0.050
0.050
0.050
0.050
0.050
0.050
0.050
0.050
0.050
0.050
0.050
-
0.050
0.050
0.050
0.050
0.050
SQX Scatter FP
0.0632
0.0457
0.0488
1.25
0.0535
0.0535
0.0524
0.0501
0.0531
0.0537
0.0532
0.0507
0.0485
0.0017
0.0418
0.0444
0.0443
0.0474
0.0463
FP (H2O balance)
0.132
0.0976
0.107
2.75
0.0317
0.19
0.120
0.132
0.123
0.124
0.123
0.117
0.112
0.0034
0.0721
0.0593
0.0567
0.108
0.0971

If better control over the level of refinery metals is a goal of your process refinement, then contact us for a demonstration of this unique approach and let us show you how we can improve your process control.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Rigaku.

For more information on this source, please visit Rigaku.

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