Benzene is a carcinogen that occurs naturally in petroleum crude oils and natural gas condensates. It is toxic, colorless, has an aromatic odor, is not soluble in water and is flammable.
For our purpose, Benzene can also be define as an aromatic hydrocarbon, made from a 6 carbon-ring.
- Flammable LeL-1.2%, UEL 7.8%./li>
- Benzene will spontaneously ignite above is 580°c.
- Benzene is colourless liquid at room temperature; evaporates to colourless gas.
- Benzene is highly toxic; can cause cancer, OEL- 0.5 PPM, IDLH-500 PPM
- Benzene have a sweet aromatic odour; can be detected at levels as low as 0.78 PPM.
- Vapour density of 2.7 relative to air.
Benzene is found in crude oil and natural gas condensate, in varying amounts, depending on
geological conditions and processing. It is usually mixed in with other hydrocarbons, which may be concentrated by oil and gas process.
Drilling and completions fluids may become contaminated with benzene when they are recirculated. Produced water streams, from natural gas and light crude oils, often contain benzene. Glycol dehydrators are said to be the primary sources of benzene emissions on gas sites. Other sources of benzene include storage tank venting and diluent streams used for heavy oil.
Small amounts of benzene (<1%) are also found in commercially available gasoline.
Note: Vapour above liquids that contain benzene may have a higher concentration of benzene than the liquid itself.
You can be exposed to benzene at Oil & Gas Facilities when you:
Handle sludge from produced water recovery system, take tank levels, perform maintenance activities on gas, produced water, condensate, diluent or water recovery systems, such as replacing or packing a pump, entry tanks or vessel and when you walk through the exhaust from a dehy vent etc.
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