Arsine in Petrochemical Operations

ASTM International’s gaseous fuels committee (D03) is developing a proposed standard that will help determine the presence of arsine in hydrocarbon gaseous fuels including renewable natural gas (RNG). Arsine is a toxic gas that is detrimental to fuel quality and can adversely impact public health if it is released into the atmosphere.   

According to ASTM International member Kevin Thind, the industrial occurrence of arsine is frequently observed in RNG from landfills and other waste derived sources, and numerous petrochemical, chemical, and metallurgical operations. However, the presence of arsine can go undetected, leading to low level toxic exposure and adverse impacts on fuel performance in various applications. 

“The presence of arsine has a significant impact on catalyst consumption and product quality in petrochemical industries,” says Thind, president of CI Analytics. “A very little amount of arsine can act as a catalyst poison leading to the reduction of catalyst performance and even deactivation. Therefore, it is vital to measure arsine content in refinery gases and petrochemical raw materials and products.”  

Thind notes that the committee is working to address the analytic, sampling, and specification needs of the RNG industries to aid in the use of gaseous fuels from composting and wastes. The committee encourages those in the renewable natural gas (RNG) industry to participate in the development of the proposed standard (WK80243).  

“Particular focus on landfill gas conditioned and added to pipeline gas, reformed to oxygen, or used as a vehicle or internal combustion fuel are areas that would be particularly helpful in developing and finalizing a standard that best meets the needs of the various RNG stakeholders,” says Thind. JOIN ASTM.

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