Kinetics and Thermodynamics of Iron Sulfide, Precipitation, Deposition and Control

Wang, Xin (Rice University) | Ko, Saebom (Rice University) | Liu, Ya (Rice University) | Lu, AlexYi-Tsung (Rice University) | Zhao, Yue (Rice University) | Harouaka, Khadouja (Rice University) | Deng, Guannan (Rice University) | Paudyal, Samridhdi (Rice University) | Dai, Chong (Rice University) | Kan, Amy T. (Rice University) | Tomson, Mason B. (Rice University)



Iron sulfide scaling is a severe problem in flow assurance and asset integrity in oil and gas and deep-water production. FeS scale control is challenging due to the extremely low solubility, fast precipitation kinetics and complexity of ferrous iron and sulfide chemistry. Despite the ubiquity of FeS, we have limited understanding about the kinetics and thermodynamics of iron sulfide. To address this problem, we have developed a reliable anoxic plug flow reactor using argon gas to remove oxygen and PIPEs or MES buffer to control pH. The FeS (mackinawite) solubility, precipitation kinetics and phase transformation were the focus of this study. The impact of temperature (25 – 90°C), pH (5.92 – 6.91), ionic strength (0.15 – 4.30 M), Fe(II) to S(-II) ratio, dispersant and chelating reagent have been investigated. It was found that mackinawite is always the first FeS precipitated and could be stable for a week. It was suggested that low pH, high temperature and low ionic strength could accelerate the FeS phase transformation. FeS precipitation is under diffusion control at pH lower than 6.1, which could be accelerated by high temperature and high ionic strength. But the precipitation kinetics would be faster at higher pH. Some evidence suggests the importance of neutral FeS(aq) species at pH 6 −7. A polymeric compound containing amide functional group showed a promising effect by controlling the FeS particle size and reducing FeS scale retention rate. EDTA showed satisfactory FeS scale inhibition effect, as well as reducing FeS scale retention and H2S corrosion rate.