Lubrizol to complete mercaptan neutralisation in France on Friday

25 January 2013 15:20  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Lubrizol and French authorities expect to complete the neutralisation of mercaptan escaping from the US-based company's lubricant additives plant in Rouen, northwest France, on Friday evening, officials said.

The escape of mercaptan, from a batch of products at the plant, began on 21 January. Winds spread the foul-smelling gas through northern France and even to southeast England on Monday and Tuesday.

Officials said that the treatment of a third and final run of affected product had already started and should be completed on Friday evening.

The neutralisation of the second run of 12 tonnes of product was completed on Thursday (24 January) night, they said. The treated product was evacuated to an approved site, where it will be destroyed.

Mercaptan samples at the outlet of the plant’s chimney are continuing to decline, they added. Around the facility, samples taken on Thursday night showed that the concentration was less than 0.05 ppm – well below toxicity thresholds.

According to authorities at the French prefecture of Seine-Maritime, the human nose detects mercaptan from as low as 0.002 ppm.

US-based Lubrizol temporarily shut down its production at Rouen following Monday’s incident.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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