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Fugitive emissions - detection, distribution and reduction.

Delaney BT
Symposium proceedings: control technology in the plastics and resins industry. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-107, 1981 Jan; :49-67
The fugitive emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from leaking valves was addressed with regard to leak distribution, leak detection and sampling, and maintenance and reduction of leaks. The author defined a fugitive emission as an atmospheric emission from an industrial operation that does not emanate from a process stack or vent. This definition included such emission sources as leaking equipment, valve, pump, or compressor seals, storage tanks, loading and unloading facilities, and cooling towers. Fugitive emissions became increasingly important due to improvements in industrial process emission controls which reduced overall emissions. The author used Century System's Organic Vapor Analyzer (OVA) as an example of a good instrument for rapid detection and quantification of emissions within a processing area that is safe, portable, and provides both qualitative and quantitative information. The flame ionization detector and gas chromatographic option were discussed with regard to use and optimization of data. With proper calibration and the gas chromatographic option, OVA had a wide range of analytical capabilities. The author notes that fugitive emission leak rates from valves result in a log normal distribution of data. A test program conducted for Exxon verified and updated the emission factors used to estimate fugitive losses from valve stems, pump and compressor seals, and atmospheric safety valves at a petrochemical facility. A random selection of 10 percent of the total valves were screened to determine the presence of leaks and an estimate of magnitude. A number of valves were then bagged and sampled. Using OVA to estimate percentage of leaking components, an estimate of the total quantity of material lost could be obtained. Results from testing emission factors on three different production lines indicated that a significant improvement in both the emission factor and percent of leaking components could be obtained through vigorous maintenance programs.
Control-systems; Chemical-manufacturing-industry; Industrial-emissions; Air-monitoring; Permissible-limits; Environmental-pollution; Organic-solvents; Industrial-hygiene; Industrial-hazards; Worker-health
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Symposium proceedings: control technology in the plastics and resins industry
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division