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Project Status: complete

Title: Investigation into the feasibility of continuously monitoring refinery flares

Contractor: CH2M Hill, Inc.

Contract Number: 206-453-5000

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: Monitoring, Stationary Sources


This report is the result of an investigation into the feasibility of continuously monitoring refinery flare emissions. The study is divided into four main sections. The first is a literature search to determine previous work in the area. Two hundred abstracting and indexing services were searched. The second is a survey of 577 potential suppliers of waste gas flow and composition monitoring devices, potential suppliers of flare emission monitoring devices, and manufacturers of refinery flares. The third is a survey of refineries in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas to determine current practices regarding monitoring flare emission. The fourth is the development of study designs to investigate methods to determine emissions of sulfur oxides, reduced sulfur, and nitrogen oxides from refinery flares with respect to feed gas monitoring, remote monitoring, and refinery process monitoring.

The study reveals that refineries do not routinely monitor flare emissions and few refineries monitor gas volumetric flow or composition of the waste gas to the flare. Two manufacturers' devices were discovered that appear suitable for further study for monitoring flare gas volumetric flow.

Study designs for the investigation of flare emissions using feed gas monitoring and remote monitoring equipment were developed. The basic approach for all of the study designs is to prove the operational use of the equipment on a pilot refinery flare facility before installing the proven equipment on an actual refinery operation. Refinery process monitoring using material-balance techniques is determined to be unworkable.


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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