Odor Management in Refinery Operations

Odor Management in Refinery Operations –Where odor occurs and how it is managed. 


What are Mercaptans and where are they found? 

Methyl mercaptan, or methanethiol, is a colorless, flammable gas that smells like rotten eggs and is present in many different ways in our environment. For example, onions, asparagus, oranges, and radishes are some foods that naturally contain mercaptans. Certain marine bacteria can also generate mercaptans, they are partly responsible for the marshy or stagnant smell in water. Due to its distinct smell, mercaptans can be helpful odorants to aid people in detecting the presence of other gases or chemicals since they can be noticed by humans in lower quantities. This is why mercaptans are added in low concentrations to natural gas.  

Although commercially added mercaptans are helpful, naturally occurring mercaptans form in much higher concentrations and their presence may cause corrosion to production sites, health issues to personnel, and noxious discomfort to workers and communities that live close to where these afflicted hydrocarbons are processed, which includes crude oil and refined products. Because of these issues, there are oilfield chemical companies that provide odor control chemicals that not only eliminate the rotten -egg smell but also help with all mercaptans’ inconveniences.

In this blog, we will dive into how to deal with naturally occurring mercaptans and mercaptan odor control. 


Why we need to treat Mercaptans. 

Mercaptan odor control is one of the many aspects addressed when dealing with mercaptans. Aside from odor issues, mercaptans increase corrosivity, contribute to instability, and make it exceedingly difficult to meet product specifications. The presence of mercaptans along the oil production chain can create problems both from steel and alloys corrosion during storage and transportation, to odor complaints from neighbors.

This is why mercaptan removal is necessary in feedstocks and refined products.  

While mercaptans are closely related to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and may be efficiently handled with comparable methods, there are certain unique issues to be aware of: 

  1. Detection levels for mercaptans are much lower than hydrogen sulfide, so it is way easier for mercaptans to cause complaints. 
  2. Mercaptans are not as soluble in water as H2S. Water solubility is an important property of chemicals because it impacts how easily they will break down. 
  3. Mercaptan molecule structures have a higher level of complexity than H2S molecules. Since mercaptans undergo additional steps in their biological breakdown, treating them may take longer. 
  4. Although noxious at moderate levels, even high mercaptan levels are not fatal as compared to relatively low levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). 
  5. Mercaptan molecules are more complex than H2S and are harder to break down. The simplest mercaptan is methyl mercaptan but chained/complex mercaptans are also common. 
Standard Test Method for Sulfur Compounds in Light Petroleum Liquids by Gas Chromatography and Sulfur Selective Detection
Standard Test Method for Sulfur Compounds in Light Petroleum Liquids by Gas Chromatography and Sulfur Selective Detection.


How to manage Mercaptans 

Our mercaptan scavenger, ProM®, is currently being used in multiple applications to reduce the presence of mercaptans. ProM® has consistently outperformed alternative chemistries for lower chain mercaptan removal. 

How ProM® works at a glance: 

  1. First, a specialized lab analysis is made to determine the mercaptan levels and variety of mercaptan species present. 
  2. Based on lab results, we determine the appropriate dosing of ProM® chemical. 
  3. Introducing the product to the afflicted crude oil or liquids at a point in the pipeline or vessel that has the most effective turbulence and contact time is critical.  
  4. Lastly, a repeat test confirms that quality spec has been reached and the volume may continue to sales. 

Remember, unlike H2S, mercaptans are overly complex branched sulfur-based hydrocarbon chains that require lab analysis to determine treatment approach. ProM® has been specifically engineered to use non-triazine/non-amine based chemicals, which makes it safe to be used in refineries. 




When mercaptans are treated, crude oil commercial specs are achieved, and the crude may be sent to a refiner. Additionally, odor is controlled and neighborhoods downwind from the facilities will not be affected. And finally, the health and safety of the workers on locations is improved. 

Whether you need mercaptan removal from natural gas, wastewater odor control, mercaptan removal from LPG, or from any other hydrocarbon, contact us to find solutions to mercaptan contamination. We have the mercaptan scavengers to satisfy your needs and we offer many more oilfield services for H2S and mercaptan treatment.





MEA-triazine – A Hydrogen Sulfide Scavenger for Natural Gas Operations

MEA-triazine - A Hydrogen Sulfide Scavenger for Natural Gas Operations

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a hazardous, corrosive, and toxic gas that can be found in oil and gas production. Its rotten egg smell is a distinctive marker and it is flammable. The smell can be detected at very low concentrations (about 1ppm), which serves as a warning as H2S is extremely toxic: at levels of 100ppm, inhalation of it can be fatal. In addition to being extremely toxic, H2S can cause severe corrosion issues to equipment. To avoid these operational risks and to meet commercial specifications, H2S must be removed from natural gas. According to general industry standards, gas is considered sour if it contains more than 4ppm of H2S.


MEA Triazine


There are many chemicals being used in the gas sweetening process, an MEA Triazine based H2S scavenger is one of the most common.


MEA Triazine (also known as Monoethanolamine Triazine, or simply just triazine) is a clear to light yellow liquid with a mild amine odor, which has a fishy smell. Triazine cannot be used in its pure form and so various concentrations of the product are manufactured, common field strength levels range from 20 to 80%.  Its primary application is to remove hydrogen sulfide from gas and oil. Custom formulations based on this product can be blended with various polymers and additives to enhance or decrease certain attributes found in the natural gas stream. 


Application methods


Direct Injection

In many applications, triazine is injected directly into the gas stream. When there is good injection flow and enough time to respond, this approach works for H2S removal. Due to the H2S dissolving into the product, typical efficiencies are lower, although a removal efficiency of around 40% is to be expected. The location of the injection and the product choice must be carefully considered for direct injection to be successful. Atomizers, fog nozzles and static mixers tend to be used when applying MEA Triazine via direct injection.


Contactor Tower

Another common approach is routing sour natural gas through a triazine-filled contactor tower. The tower layout can take on a variety of designs, but essentially H2S is eliminated when the gas passes through the liquid and dissolves into the triazine. The H2S removal efficiency of contactor towers can reach up to 80%. As a result, much less chemical is used, and OPEX may be significantly decreased. The contactor tower and chemical storage tanks, however, are less useful for offshore use since they take up a lot of room and weight.


Benefits of Q2 Technologies’ MEA Triazine

  • Simple treatment with a low investment.
  • When buying directly from the manufacturer you may reduce H2S scavenger costs.
  • Up to 80% active triazine with other dilutions available.
  • Over 20 years’ experience as Triazine manufacturers along plus applied engineering support.
  • Turn-key automated skids for lease or purchase.
  • Specialty blends with a variety of inhibitors.


Natural Gas Treatment Case Study


A major gas producer in Southeast Texas was using a mixture of 10 drums of fresh water with Sodium Nitrate for the removal of H2S in their contact tower. The run time equated to two months before change-outs were necessary. After each run, the tower trays were removed and the system steam cleaned in order to remove the precipitated sulfur and other deposits that had accumulated on the interior wall of the sparger. This process included a labor crew and steam-cleaning unit. The clean-out time ran from one to two days depending on the severity of disposition.


Due to ongoing sulfur deposition and labor intensive change-outs, Q2 Technologies was invited to test our triazine process utilizing the same tower. Calculations indicated that a 50% reduction in total product would achieve the same results as the Sodium Nitrite. Five drums of triazine and five drums of fresh water were added to the contractor.


It was determined after the two-month test period, that our triazine achieved the same performance as Sulfa-Check with half as much product. In addition, the vessel was found to be free of solids upon inspection. There was no clean out involved and the reacted product was easily drained and the tower recharged.


Download this case study here.

Case Study 305

Other Chemistries


MEA-Triazine is an effective solution for H2S removal. However, each application is different and may require different scavenger alternatives. At Q2 Technologies, we also offer a non-triazine/non-amine H2S scavenger solution: Pro3® Nano. This alternative is a low CAPEX modular solution designed to lower LOE compared to conventional triazine scavengers. The Pro3® Nano chemical process is specifically designed to treat sour gas volumes using a unique combination of nano particles in a contact tower with a regenerative cycle.


What’s the best solution?


The best solution is whatever works best for your application. The main goal will always be H2S removal, but there are financial, operational, and commercial considerations that must be weighted.? 

  • Have all KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) been identified and quantified?
  • In doing so, are OPEX and CAPEX being optimized? 
  • Are the assets suffering from corrosion or over/under utilization? 
  • Is the hydrocarbon stream meeting commercial  ppm requirements or thresholds? 


These are some ideas to consider when choosing suitable treatment solutions, it not only depends on reaching H2S level requirements, but also on seeing how the scavenger affects your project as a whole. At Q2 Technologies we can help provide recommendations based on your specific needs, contact us and we’ll help you find exactly what you need to treat your sour gas.





Quality Chemicals Matter

Quality control is the basis for our business. Delivering high-quality products is fundamental to our clients. Providing consistent, high-quality products time and time again leads to long-term and trusted partnerships.


Therefore, keeping a close watch and testing our batches ensures our manufacturing processes are not deviating and we deliver the highest quality possible.


In much the same way, when out in the field, we are often asked to check unknown products. This arises at the request of the client if their existing product is not effective or worse, causing production hindrance.  This is performed as a troubleshooting effort for our clients and is the starting point in discovering a workable solution.


So how do we ensure in the lab that our manufactured products are meeting our exacting standards or how we determine what an unknown field substance may contain? One of the many advanced ways we detect the presence of different ratios of chemistries is by utilizing a Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) unit. 

Quality Chemicals Matter

Maintaining the highest quality of our chemical products is fundamental to how Q2 Technologies ensures we maintain our trusted partnership status for leading Oil & Gas producers, midstreamers, refiners, biogas, and wastewater operators. We rely on proven technologies not only for our chemical products, but how we implement them in our growing range of industries. 


Not Just in the Name

For over 20 years, Q2 Technologies has been at the forefront of chemical development and implementation in Oil & Gas, and as such, ‘technologies’ is a core concept we embrace from early stage chemical development, to the logistics of manufacturing, to final implementation for the end-user. Our clients know that we scrutinize all aspects of our process and it shows in the results of having consistent products at or near the clients’ locations every day of the year. Check out our latest inventory initiative announcement here [insert link to recent mid-season hurricane and inventory PR announcement]. 

One of the more advanced techniques we utilize to ensure our unique products are manufactured to our tight specifications and standards is the use of infrared (IR) spectroscopy. IR spectroscopy, specifically Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, is a widely popular analysis technique used today. FTIR is used across many industries as the process is quite adaptable to suit many scenarios. Considering that it has use cases for all types of matter: solid, liquid, and gaseous analytes. 


FTIR machine


How it works

The study of infrared light dates back to the astronomer William Herschel in the early 19th century. Herschel used a prism to refract light from the sun and noticed the temperature increase when focused beyond the red portion of the spectrum. Although the term infrared was not used until the late 19th century, beyond the visible red light was surely a curiosity to him. Since then, the study of the interaction of IR light with matter has expanded greatly. In the ongoing studies with a FTIR device, a light source shines on a substance and the resulting wavenumber or unique IR signature is observed on a detection plate. The study of chemical bonds has proven that molecules are not held together in static fashion, rather they vibrate at the molecular level leading to concepts of symmetrical and asymmetrical stretching, wagging, scissoring, rocking, just to name a few, and when IR light attempts to pass through certain molecules that are vibrating at different frequencies, we can determine with high confidence that a particular molecule is present. The process yields a detection graph that will have a series of unique identifiers that would confidently point to different chemicals present. FTIR Comparison of G2

The FTIR test would be akin to a baker identifying all of the ingredients of a cake, to replicate the recipe, one would need the measurements of each ingredient. That is where we pause in our evaluation of unknown substances, chiefly we do not need to recreate a substance and secondarily, this is where the science and artform deviate, beyond the FTIR test, one is making gross assumptions. However for our purposes, the resulting identification of the presence of certain elements is quite sufficient, with this information we are able to make inferred rational judgements on the nature of a product. Again this works well for our quality control best practices, for example if a significant presence of an out of place molecule shows, we may with statistical evaluation conclude that the sample has been contaminated and would need to be reconfigured. To be fair, significant deviations are taken into account, as well as a deep understanding of how our product would chemically react to the rogue molecules.


Putting it into Practice

As part of our professional service offerings of supplying chemical products to our clients’ different facilities, we take a concerted effort to ensure that the products are delivered on time to location and are administered appropriately. Word can travel fast in the oil patch and this can lead to potential clients requesting us to troubleshoot why their chemical products are not as effective or at worse causing production curtailment, in short, they are seeking to know what is causing the issue. We start by reviewing the SDS and comparing that to what the FTIR analysis provides. In some cases, products are diluted or manufactured with other chemicals, rendering them less effective. Oftentimes, a solution for H2S or mercaptan treatment from our ProSeries® suite of products is a good fit and we are able to quickly scope out a workable application. 


If you would like to learn more about how we use FTIR analysis in the lab or how it may apply to your asset in the field for hydrocarbons afflicted with H2S or mercaptans, we would be happy to discuss with you your situation to find solutions. Contact us today!






FTIR Image Source:



Triazine Vs. Non-Triazine for H2S Treatment

When choosing the appropriate H2S Scavenger either for oil treatment, acid gas sweetening, mercaptan odor removal or through mechanical processes, it is essential to fully analyze the different alternatives on the market, as different products are better suited for different applications and process conditions. As our analysis will show, one may be better than the other depending on the specific conditions of what needs to be treated. Over the years, triazine-based treatment has been the go-to solution for many Producers, Midstreamers, and Refiners, and to a large extent it is still the go-to choice. But for some, implementing new technology such as non-triazine products has positively impacted their operations and has lowered their costs. Is one better than the other? That all depends on your use case and process conditions. Here you’ll find a brief description of both triazine and non-triazine alternatives to help inform you of the effective solutions on the market for your application.


Triazine Treatment

Triazine for H2S scavenging is an established and reliable chemical reaction that is employed in the Oil & Gas industry to remove H2S from gas streams. The H2S scavenging can be done via direct injection in pipelines with fog nozzles, wet scrubbers, or bubble towers at either wells, central batteries or midstream systems. The triazine scavenging technique is most cost-effective for gaseous streams with sulfur loading of less than 1000 lbs. per day. It typically reduces H2S concentrations to <4 ppm and partially removes several light mercaptans (methyl, ethyl, and propyl). Triazine’s ability to remove H2S is affected by various parameters, including temperature, pH, contact duration, and natural gas composition. The final product is water soluble and is usually discharged in the produced water tanks and commercial saltwater disposal facilities. 


It is important to note that using triazine as an H2S scavenger may cause fouling from the polymerization of dithiazine in contact towers, scrubbers and/or pipelines. Careful use and monitoring of the triazine solution is needed to ensure smooth operation. Q2 Technologies has been manufacturing traditional triazine blends for decades and also offers expertise in developing unique formulas for special cases. 


Check out this case study:

Non-Triazine Treatment

Even though triazine is a well-trusted solution, many companies have chosen non-triazine-based scavengers as alternatives for use in crude oil applications. One of the main characteristics of our non-triazine product, Pro3®, is a non-amine and non-glyoxal technology, making it safe for refineries and pipelines. If left unchecked, Amine salts that form from spent triazine can ultimately cause damage to the top stacks of a refinery when heated to >500 °F. Many refiners in the US Gulf Coast and overseas monitor amine content and require traders and midstream companies to use vetted non-triazine chemistries. 


Producers and Midstream companies alike have found success with our non-triazine products: 

  • The quality of the oil is upgraded when H2S content is reduced. 
  • Safer environment for all personnel on-site.
  • Infrastructure and equipment will last longer now that corrosion caused by H2S has been neutralized. 
  • Our non-triazine scavengers are not based on commodity-priced products, so our prices are protected and are less impacted by external factors such as freezes and industrial raw material shortages.


Our non-triazine H2S removal technology has proven to reduce chemical use up to 50-75% as compared to triazine. This definitely does not mean that triazine should always be replaced by non-triazine, rather, Q2 Technologies can assist you from a technical, engineering, and commercial viewpoint. Each application is different and needs to be carefully analyzed to determine the treatment product. 


In conclusion, both triazine and non-triazine scavengers have their benefits and are the go-to alternatives for oil and gas treatment. But, one may be better than the other depending on the specific characteristics of the product that needs to be treated. If you’re looking for the right H2S scavenger solution for your company, feel free to contact us! 





Complete H2S guide for Health and Safety

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) is a highly corrosive chemical found in Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Production Water, and Formation Water. The presence of H2S in Crude Oil and other volumes plays a significant health risk for those close to or exposed to this noxious substance. Because of its toxicity, if inhaled it can lead to numerous health problems and, in some cases, even death. Workers in the oil and gas Exploration, Production, Midstream,  and Refining Industries may be exposed to this hazardous substance so they must follow a set of safety measures that are outlined below. Please consider the following as a starting point, always consult your company’s EH&S or manager for safety specific requirements.


Why is H2S so dangerous?


  • The health consequences of hydrogen sulfide depend on how much and how long the worker breathes it in. Exposures to concentrations of 100 ppm or more are harmful to human health. However, even at low doses, significant impacts are observed. The effects range from moderate, such as headaches or eye discomfort, to extremely dangerous, such as permanent loss of smell and taste to unconsciousness and death. 


  • In oil and gas applications, sour gas and sour crude (which contains H2S) can react with air and moisture to produce sulfuric acid, which can corrode metals. The durability and impact strength of facility equipment, particularly the inside surfaces of different components, are diminished, eventually resulting in premature failure.


Safety Equipment


H2S Monitor

  • Always make sure to carry an electronic meter that detects hydrogen sulfide gas. And clip the monitor near your face, on the lapel of your shirt for example.  Always “bump test” by clicking the test button on the monitor prior to entering any job site to ensure the alarm on the monitor is loud –  there may be large decibel producing equipment creating loud noises, your monitor should be louder so you can hear it.
  • Do not rely on your sense of smell to detect the presence of hydrogen sulfide or to alert you of dangerous amounts. At low quantities in air, hydrogen sulfide has a “rotten egg” smell. However, after a while, you lose your capacity to detect the gas even if it is still present (olfactory fatigue). In large quantities, this loss of smell can occur extremely quickly, and the ability to detect the gas can be gone instantly (olfactory paralysis).


Protective personal equipment


  • Wear respiratory and other personal protective equipment.
  • Make sure you have been properly mask fitted to make sure you will be protected from hazardous vapors.
  • If measures fail to lower H2S levels below the allowed exposure limit, respiratory protection must be used as well as additional personal protective equipment (PPE) such as eye protection and perhaps fire-resistant clothing. 


Safety Measures


Imagine your hydrogen sulfide sensor has gone off, indicating the presence of H2S in your work environment. Now, what do you do?


1. Put On Your Gear:

Put on your gas mask if you have one handy and aren’t already wearing one. Pull your straps down firmly and breathe. While you evacuate the area, your mask will keep you safe. 

The requirements for carrying a mask differ based on the setting, so if you don’t have one, don’t worry, just go on to the next stage.

2. Get Upwind: 

  • If you’re working in an area with the possibility of H2S release, there should be flags or windsocks on the work site to show you which direction the wind is blowing. Head in the opposite direction immediately. If you can’t see the windsock, toss some dirt or leaves into the air, or look at the trees. 
  • The wind can blow and concentrate the H2S into valleys or stands of trees, so the direction you go is essential. If you see a designated gathering area, or “muster site” downwind, go there. 
  • This is the easiest and most effective way to avoid H2S inhalation or poisoning.
  • Lastly, if your work plan makes it difficult to evacuate an area, consider revising your work plan with your team before starting work in the first place.

H2S Removal

H2S Scavengers should be employed by crude oil companies to benefit from less fouling, corrosion, and property damage, significant reduction of health risks, and a potential increase in the value of production barrels.  


In conclusion, anyone who has the possibility of being exposed to H2S must be ready with the recommended safety equipment and the know-how for whenever the H2S monitor goes off.

Always carry:

  • H2S monitor
  • Properly fitting PPE

If the monitor goes off, remember to:

  • Put on your gear
  • Get upwind


Q2 Technologies manufactures specialty H2S Scavenger Chemistry products that remove H2S from millions of barrels of oil every month. For more information, contact us









Getting Ready for Hurricane Season

(AccuWeather, 2022)


2021 was a rainy year, ranking as the third most  active hurricane season in history as well as the third costliest, with a total of  nearly $81 billion in damage. Hurricane Ida by itself, swept through Louisiana and much of Mississippi, forcing the shut down of refining operations and oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, and had a cost of over $75 billion in damages. Ida disrupted much of the chemical supply chain when it hit, leading to H2S scavenger raw material shortages. 


[For 2022 ] An early outlook (…) forecasts an active North Atlantic hurricane season, which could affect oil and gas supply due to shut-in production at platforms in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (HART Energy, 2022).


As meteorologists forecast an active hurricane season, producers, midstreamers, refiners, and chemical treatment companies must prepare for what could be a replay of last year’s heavy storms. For Q2 Technologies, it is essential for us to be ready; we know that these events can cause driver shortages, road/route closures, and production shut-ins at plants , which makes it extremely difficult to manufacture, deliver, and consequently treat oil and gas production. Despite hurricane season in full swing (the season actually starts June 1st lasting until November 30th), production at the wellhead does not stop, therefore Q2 Technologies is making the necessary arrangements to plan accordingly so our critical product is available during this uncertain time. 


As a trusted chemical provider for our clients, we ensure that sufficient levels of our H2S removal products are securely stored close to our clients’ assets in anticipation of hurricane season


We’ve taken the necessary steps to manufacture a sufficient amount of additional product and have coordinated ahead of time with our multiple trucking logistics partners to get product to location or storage. We stage at least 1 month worth of chemical inventory in West Texas and the Texas coast to ensure that any weather related supply disruptions will not jeopardize our delivery capability. 


How do we manage to continue to deliver our product when a hurricane is imminent? This is actually a very simple answer: by being prepared, by manufacturing the product in advance, and before production is threatened. Having sufficient raw material from a diversified supplier pool at multiple manufacturing sites mitigates our production risk. Having multiple manufacturing sites allows us to deliver to multiple basins.  We have been very strategic in our partnerships over the last 21 years, seeking partners with the highest integrity, and facilities with world-class blending that have easy access to major highways and thoroughfares.


Adaptability is also fundamental, depending on conditions, locations and our clients’ needs, we provide a wide range of different vessel formats, allowing our product to be ready for shipment in containers of all kinds of shapes and sizes: ISOs, Drums, and Totes. 


Working at multiple manufacturing sites and being prepared with a fleet of trucks and carriers is critical. Multiple carriers are key for successfully delivering chemical loads. If, for any reason, one is delayed, another one may come to the rescue; partnering with different trucking companies has allowed us in previous years to successfully deliver our product and treat our clients’ crude oil and gas in a regular manner.



In conclusion, to seamlessly continue treatment in multiple basins while hurricane threats arise, we have implemented a “planning ahead” mindset:

  • Multiple raw material providers
  • Several manufacturing sites close to major highways and thoroughfares
  • Diverse vessel sizes
  • Multiple transportation services
  • And stockpile field ready inventory

If you’re interested in our multiple H2S removal products, we’d be happy to have a chat with you! Contact us or give us a call +1 832-328-2200.








Cracking the Code on Treating H2S: Q2 Technologies’ Non-Triazine Scavengers Reducing Chemical Use Up to 75%

When it comes to treating Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) in Crude Oil and liquid hydrocarbons, there are several types of triazine-based compounds that have historically been used. Unfortunately, if not closely monitored, the by-products of many of these chemistries can actually be more operationally detrimental and thus vastly more expensive, because overuse may cause corrosion and fouling in downstream systems. Fortunately, new technology has emerged! Q2 Technologies boasts a revolutionary new product that is in a class all by itself: Pro3® is an innovative non-triazine and non-amine H2S scavenger for Crude Oil and liquid hydrocarbon applications that is able to reduce chemical use up to 50-75% as compared to Glyoxal and MEA Triazine.

Less chemical

Pro3®’s active ingredient is chemically more effective and efficient at rendering H2S into non-reversible components than triazine could be, chemically speaking Pro3® is superior to triazine.

In a recent study, Pro3®, a non-triazine scavenger, was recommended to substitute a 40% MEA-triazine scavenger, resulting in an 80% cut on chemical consumption compared to triazine. This resulted in a reduction in deliveries and lowered the overall chemical spend. Read more about this case study here.

No Fouling and Corrosion

Q2 Technologies’ non-triazine product does not contain any amines or nitrogen compounds, making it 100% safe for refineries and pipelines. Amine salts from triazines can end up doing more damage to the top stacks of a refinery when heated to +500 °F as compared to the pinhole corrosion that H2S would cause if routed through the refinery untreated. 

Refinery Tower Diagram
Refinery Tower Diagram

The distillation column is the backbone of any refinery and keeping the internals free of corrosion is critical. Refineries that manage asset integrity are constantly evaluating the inlet volume for amines and monitoring the physical nature of the columns.

Effect on supply chain

In the Spring of 2021 there was a significant winter storm event in Texas which had far reaching implications for the triazine market for much of the United States, and consequently Canada and parts of South America. The week-long deep freeze shuttered many chemical plants, and by the company’s estimates, nearly 90% of plants along the Gulf Coast that create the raw materials for triazine were shut down for months. This caused the near-commodity price of triazine to skyrocket: a classic under supply situation resulted in higher demand and the Oil & Gas producers and consumers were hindered by this for over a year. Q2 Technologies monitored this phenomenon closely.  Since our Pro3® is a non-triazine based product, there were no supply chain issues and prices were not affected. Unfortunately, for those that depend heavily on triazine as a main scavenger, the threat of a shutdown could easily happen again, as some plants simply did not come back online in the summer of 2021, and those that were were repaired carry the additional operational burden to produce more and more triazine.

If scavenger costs and operational concerns are a priority, learn more about Pro3® and see how Q2 Technologies can lower your net chemical usage, protect infrastructure, and increase overall hydrocarbon production by rending H2S out. If you think your project can benefit from using Pro3® contact us today

Removing Mercaptans While Keeping Costs in Line

There are several choices when it comes to treating mercaptans. Since mercaptans are highly complex branched sulfur-based hydrocarbon chains, treating them may require expensive solvents and scavengers, making it quite costly; not to mention that if treated with amine-based scavengers, dealing with fouling and corrosion is another expense to add. These factors were the impetus for developing ProM® for our clients, a mercaptan-treating product for meeting specs economically without having to deal with the effects of amine-based scavengers. By treating with ProM®, one can optimize the treatment process which can minimize the need for expensive blend stock or can even eliminate it. In this blog, we want to show you how our ProM® works and why it’s been a game changer for our clients. 


What is ProM®?

ProM® is a mercaptan Scavenger. It has been specifically engineered to use non-triazine, non-amine based chemicals, which makes it safe to be used at refineries. This mercaptan removal technology is effective against Methyl, Ethyl, Isopropyl, Tert-Butyl, n-Propyl, sec-Butyl, Isobutyl, and n-Butyl mercaptans, just to name a few.


How does it work?

As we mentioned, unlike H2S, mercaptans are highly complex branched sulfur-based hydrocarbon chains, so they require lab analysis to determine treatment approach. Let’s say you are considering ProM® as an option, in order to know how much product your specific project needs, we would follow these steps:

  1. First, a lab analysis using method UOP163 and ASTM – D5623 is required to determine the mercaptan levels in ppm/w or the full speciation, respectively.
  2. Once analyzed, the appropriate dosing of ProM® chemical is determined.
  3. Then, we inject the product. Injecting on the suction side of the discharge pump allows for excellent contact and churn, ensuring the reaction is effective. The confluence of the chemical in Crude Oil ensures efficient mixture and treatment. 
  4. Finally, a test confirms that quality spec has been reached and the vessel may proceed.


Mercaptan removal process.
Process for determining ProM® dose.


Mercaptan removal allows for better net back pricing on the barrel while meeting safety standards and protecting assets.



A real life example

A 50,000 bpd condensate splitter was facing fouling issues from MEA-Triazine. Also, they were using very high volumes of MEA-Triazine and still failed to reach crude oil mercaptan specification. As if this wasn’t enough, the terminal was required to blend down various types of crude oil from different storage tanks to achieve a mercaptan specification ranging from 2-5 ppm.


We’d seen that before, so we recommended ProM® to meet mercaptan specifications at the terminal to reduce the amount of blending required and reduce fouling and corrosion problems at neighboring condensate splitters. The results? ProM® chemistry allowed the customer to meet mercaptan specifications that MEA-Triazine was unable to reach. Here’s a link to this case study for your reference.


Lately we’ve been seeing increasing interest on this type of treatment because as we all know, everything keeps evolving, there’s no need to sacrifice one thing or the other anymore, by using ProM® you can:

  • Meet specs
  • Protect your assets
  • Reduce or even eliminate the need for expensive blend stock
  • Get better net back pricing on your barrel
  • keep your costs in line


If you are looking for this type of solution, we’ll be happy to help, give us a call or send us an email.

Argus cites Q2 Technologies solutions as WTI quality causes concerns for midstream operators

On their News Article, Argus talks about the concern on quality of Midland-origin WTI cargoes loading in the Houston area and how Q2 Technologies has helped clean up these Permian Barrels.

“…Q2 Technologies is among the contractors working with producers and midstream operators to clean up Permian barrels, citing one case where it helped bring more than 50,000 b/d of Permian production to mercaptan levels of less than 75ppm, compared with pre-treatment levels of up to 600ppm” (Argus, 2022).

Take a look at the complete Article here

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