Characterization of black powder found in sales gas pipelines

Tariq S. Khan, Mohamed S. Alshehhi, Lyes Khezzar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Black powder (BP) is a typical contaminant usually found in sales gas pipelines. Its presence may cause major operational and maintenance issues including blockage of sensors and filters, erosion of pipeline bends and compromise the sales gas quality. There has been little known about its composition and sources of formation in the gas pipelines. Understanding its characteristics is considered crucial for appropriate mitigation planning and execution of smooth pipelines operations. Black powder samples collected from sales gas pipelines network of a Middle Eastern gas company are analyzed using scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) and x-ray diffraction (XRD) methods for surface analysis and phase identification of the crystalline material. These analyses revealed variation in size distribution and shape of the BP samples. Likewise, most of the BP particles were found agglomerated. EDX analysis of the sample has shown presence of iron as the most abundant element after sulfur. XRD patterns can be indexed with both iron oxides and sulfides suggesting presence of moisture and hydrogen sulfide in the gas.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationFluids Engineering
ISBN (Electronic)9780791858424
StatePublished - 2017
EventASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2017 - Tampa, United States
Duration: 3 Nov 20179 Nov 2017

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)


ConferenceASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Black powder
  • Elemental analysis
  • Gas pipeline operations


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