Black powder contamination is a widely used term for a highly pervasive particulate contamination found in all hydrocarbon facilities and pipelines, water systems, petrochemical powders, and other fluid and gas systems. All too often, its presence and negative impacts are accepted by industry as a cost of doing business. To prevent black powder from accumulating in systems and equipment, and allowing it to continue downstream, the goal for facility and pipeline operators should be first to eliminate the conditions for its development through proper root cause analysis and secondly to eliminate its presence as early as possible in the hydrocarbon value chain. Managing black powder requires knowledge and acceptance of its formation process and presence, and a plan and equipment to remove it.
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