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Project Status: complete

Title: Control technologies for solvent emissions from cottonseed oil extraction plants

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Pantalone, Joseph

Contract Number: A0-074-31

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: Stationary Sources


Five cottonseed oil manufacturing plants in California were surveyed, using an organic vapor analyzer to detect high concentrations of solvent vapor in the immediate vicinity of solvent-containing equipment, to measure concentrations in gasses from accessible vents, and to measure gradients of hydrocarbon vapors (assumed to be hexane) in the ambient air on the grounds and at the peripheries of the plants.

From these measurements and from auxiliary information supplied by the manufacturers, the following conclusions are reached:

1. Hexane losses from the five plants totaled about 800,000 gallons for the 1980-1981 operating season, ranging from 0.75 to 1.4 gallons per ton of seed processed at various plants.

2. A large fraction of the hexane lost enters the atmosphere as vapor; probably less than half the vapor is lost through scrubber vents, with most of the remainder issuing from leaks in process equipment. The most frequently detected leaks were in solvent extraction equipment, miscella refining and processing equipment, and stearine centrifuges.

3. Vapor losses are substantially greater in summer than in winter.

4. Hexane concentrations in the ambient air around these plants are demonstrably greater downwind than upwind, although the difference is marginal at the plant peripheries.


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

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