LPG Contaminations by Interactions of Sulphur Compounds (eBook)

Published Date

January 1988

LPG Contaminations by Interactions of Sulphur Compounds (eBook)

(Excludes any applicable taxes)

This paper discusses the reasons for LPG contamination and the implications they may have for traditional transportation contract terms. (12pp)

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LPG is usually transported by sea in relatively small pressurized and/or semi-refrigerated vessels. Therefore a large number of voyages of capacities ranging from 1000 to 7000 tons is regularly noted. Contaminations or off-specification cargoes sometimes happen, but are less dramatic due to the smaller size of the shipments.

Larger transports of mainly commercial propane and butane from the Middle East and Algeria to Japan, Europe and the USA are frequently carried out by fully refrigerated vessels of 75000 m3 capacity and more. In the past, these fully refrigerated shipments of propane have repeatedly been subject to contaminations.Off-specification cargoes were noted in recent years and turned out to be quite spectacular considering the financial losses involved. The unknown character of the origin of these contaminations resulted in an ongoing struggle between suppliers, buyers, shipowners and charterers.

In most cases the propane cargoes turned out to be "off-specification" as determined by ASTM test method D1838 (copper corrosion) and ASTM D2420 (hydrogen sulphide), which rendered the cargo totally unacceptable to the receivers. Due to the copper corrosion test failure and based on the absence of other corrosive compounds such as amines or ammonia it was indicated that the cause of the contamination had to be found in sulphur compounds. Sulphur and sulphur compounds are present in the fractionated LPG stream. The propane is treated with molecular sieves to remove any residual hydrogen sulphides or mercaptans.Besides these forms of sulphur, other types of sulphur compounds may be present, depending on the source of the LPG or propane stream 1 distillation of crude oil/fractionation of LNG streams/raw LPG gas recoveries etc.

It is laboratory practice that the volatile sulphur compounds are added up and reported as "total sulphur" content, which varies between 5 and 20 ppm for commercial propane. The less volatile sulphur compounds are usually not tested. Typical about the above mentioned contamination cases was the fact that the cargoes were found to be in-specification at time of loading, and off-specification on arrival at discharge port. This resulted in the logical conclusion that the ships were to blame for the detoriation of the quality of the cargo during the transport. Obviously this phenomen is new and puts the traditional transportation contract terms in question.

Paper Delivered by:
G Vermeiren (SGS Depauw & Stokoe NV, Belgium)

Prepared for:
Gastech Kuala Lumpur 1988

For over 45 years, the Gastech Exhibition & Conference has been at the forefront of the international gas and LNG market. This world-renowned event is regarded as the most significant meeting place for gas and LNG professionals, where the global industry gathers to do business.

Gastech hosts major IOCs, NOC’s, global utility companies, EPC contractors, shipbuilders, pipeline companies, manufacturers, distributors, technology and service providers, all who play an active role in the global energy value chain.

Title: LPG Contaminations by Interactions of Sulphur Compounds (eBook)
Product Code: 4433g059
Published Date: January 1988

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