Mercury removal absorbents

Mercury removal from hydrocarbon streams is a stringent requirement in order to avoid corrosion of equipment, poisoning of catalysts and to comply with environmental regulations.

Johnson Matthey is the market leader in the production of mercury removal absorbents for the gas processing industry. Our PURASPECTM range of absorbents are tailored for effective and complete mercury removal from hydrocarbon streams.

PURASPEC fixed bed absorbents are suited for a range of applications within the gas processing, refineries and petrochemical markets.

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Johnson Matthey has secured patent protection for its newest innovations in mercury removal, combining enhanced protection against mercury contamination with more efficient use of its active components. By harnessing the high performance of PURASPEC absorbents and enhancing the manufacturing process, the next generation of PURASPEC absorbents have improved capacity and physical integrity.

This latest introduction to our PURASPEC mercury absorbent portfolio combines decades of industry experience with the newest innovations in manufacturing technology. We offer two ranges of products to improve specific areas. 

Range that delivers the best mercury removal performance:

Range that is most robust in difficult duties:

  • The lowest absorbent volume for a given duty
  • Highest mercury capacity providing longer absorbent lives
  • Short-fill options for existing facilities offering lower pressure drops
  • Robust formulations that withstand plant upsets such as the carryover of free liquids
  • Products maintain physical integrity for unloading at the end of life
  • Reliable performance and long predictable lives in challenging processes

Almost all unrefined hydrocarbons contain mercury. In the case of natural gas and natural gas liquids it is likely to be present as elemental mercury whilst in crude oil it may also be present as organo-metallic and ionic mercury. Concentration levels vary from 0.01 to 5,000 µg/Nm3 (micrograms per normal cubic metre).

  • Exposure of workers to high levels of mercury during maintenance operations
  • Corrosion of process equipment due to liquid metal embrittlement or amalgam corrosion
  • Poisoning of expensive downstream precious metal catalysts such as platinum or palladium
  • Difficulty in disposal of mercury contaminated equipment
  • Emissions to the environment
  • Potential liabilities resulting from mercury contaminated product streams


Unlike many other mercury removal solutions Johnson Matthey PURASPEC mercury removal absorbents comprise metal sulphide components that allow a bed to be located upstream of dryers and of the acid gas treatment section of the plant. Johnson Matthey’s PURASPEC absorbent bed provides protection for much of the plant and avoids the problems and costs associated with widespread plant contamination and mercury emissions that have been encountered by many operators.

  • Natural gas
  • Condensate/NGL
  • Duties where water wetting occurs
  • Purification of LNG
  • Vent gas
  • Shale gas

  • Low and stable pressure drop due to high particle strength
  • Cost effective mercury removal
  • Reliable performance and long predictable lives
  • Mercury removal to very low levels
  • Highest product capacities in the market resulting longest absorbent lives
  • Best mercury removal kinetics in the market which result in the smallest required absorbent volumes
  • Easy disposal as mercury is chemically absorbed to give stable metal sulphide
  • Material can be fully re-processed
  • The absorbent does not contain associated hydrocarbons

A wide range of PURASPEC absorbents are available for the removal of contaminants from hydrocarbon streams. Johnson Matthey representatives should be consulted to determine which product is most appropriate for any given application/duty.

All our products are supported by dedicated regional teams and are fully re-processable at the end of life.

Send us a message to request a quote or ask our advice. We’d be happy to hear from you.

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Adrian Lawrence

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    Jumal Shah

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