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Project Number:
 
10-009
Title:
 
Additional Flare Test Days for TCEQ Comprehensive Flare Study
Lead PI:
 
Vincent Torres
Institution(s) Represented:
 
The University of Texas at Austin- Vincent Torres
AQRP Project Manager:
 
Cyril Durrenberger
TCEQ Project Liaison:
 
Russ Nettles
Awarded Amount:
 
$591,332.00

Executive Summary- Project 10-009
Additional Flare Test Days for TCEQ Comprehensive Flare Study
 
In May 2009, the TCEQ contracted with The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) to conduct the Comprehensive Flare Study Project (Tracking Number 2010-04) (TCEQ, 2009). In August 2010, the Air Quality Research Program (TCEQ Grant No. 582-10-94300) provided supplemental funding for this project. The purpose of this project was to conduct field tests to measure flare emissions and collect process and operational data in a semi-controlled environment to determine the relationship between flare design, operation, vent gas lower heating value (LHV) and flow rate, destruction and removal efficiency (DRE), and combustion efficiency (CE). The primary study objectives for this project in order of decreasing priority are:
      • Assess the potential impact of vent gas flow rate turndown on flare CE and VOC DRE;
      • Assess the potential impact of steam/air assist on flare CE and VOC DRE at various operating conditions, including low vent gas flow rates;
      • Determine whether flares operating over the range of requirements stated in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 60.18 achieve the assumed hydrocarbon DRE of 98 percent at varying waste gas flow rate turndown, assist ratios and waste stream heat content; and
      • Identify and quantify the hydrocarbon species in flare plumes currently visualized with passive infrared cameras.
The field tests were conducted in September 2010 on a steam-assisted flare (nominal 36-inch diameter, rated at 937,000 lbs/hr) and on an air-assisted flare (nominal 24-inch in diameter, rated at 144,000 lbs/hr) at the John Zink Company, LLC flare test facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The test plan consisted of a matrix of flare operating conditions designed to provide data that would address as many of the study objectives as possible. This matrix of operating conditions included two low vent gas flow rates for the steam flare (937 and 2,342 lbs/hr) and two low LHVs (300 and 600 Btu/scf).  For the air-assisted flare, 359 and 937 lbs/hr vent gas flow rates and the same two low LHVs used for the steam flare were used. The vent gas composition used was a 1:4 ratio of Tulsa Natural Gas to propylene diluted with nitrogen to achieve the desired LHV. Air and steam assist rates used varied from the amount used to achieve the incipient smoke point to an amount near the snuff point. All of the tests in this study were conducted under conditions that are in compliance with all criteria of 40 CFR § 60.18.
Operating parameters for the flare were measured and monitored during each test run. The CE and DRE of the flare for each test point were determined by continuously extracting a sample from the flared gas beyond the point in the plume where all combustion had ceased and then analyzing the sample at a rate of 1 Hz using a suite of analytical instruments operated by Aerodyne Research Incorporated. A carbon balance was performed on the constituents in the sample as compared to the constituents in the vent gas flow and the appropriate quantities were used to calculate DRE and CE. Two remote-sensing technologies were also employed in the study and will be compared to the extractive measurement results.
The data from this study have been and continue to be quality assured and are being analyzed. An external review committee selected by the TCEQ will review the draft project final report.

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QAPP:
 
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Final Report:
 
Final Report:
 
     
Publications & Citations
The following papers were submitted to Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research for a Special Issue on Industrial Flaring: Torres, V.M., Herndon, S., Wood, E., Al-Fadhli, F.M., Allen, D.T., Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides from Flares Operating at Low Flow Conditions, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51, 12600-12605, DOI: 10.1021/ie300179x (2012) Pavlovic, R.T., Al-Fadhli, Kimura, Y., Allen, D.T., and McDonald-Buller, E.C. Impacts of Emission Variability and Flare Combustion Efficiency on Ozone Formation in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Area, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51, 12593-12599, DOI: 10.1021/ie203052w (2012). Knighton, W.B., Herndon, S.C., Franklin, J.F., Wood, E.C., Wormhoudt, J., Brooks, W., Fortner, E.C., and Allen, D.T. Direct measurement of volatile organic compound emissions from industrial flares using real-time on-line techniques: Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry and Tunable Infrared Laser Differential Absorption Spectroscopy, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51, 12674-12684, DOI: 10.1021/ie202695v (2012) Torres, V.M., Herndon, S., Kodesh, Z., Nettles, R., and Allen, D.T. "Industrial flare performance at low flow conditions: Part 1. Study Overview" Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51, 12559-12568, DOI: 10.1021/ie202674t (2012). Torres, V.M., Herndon, S. and Allen, D.T. "Industrial flare performance at low flow conditions: Part 2. Air and Steam assisted flares" Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51, 12569-12576, DOI: 10.1021/ie202675f (2012) Herndon, S.C., Nelson, D.D., Wood, E.C., Knighton, W.B., Kolb, C.E., Kodesh, Z., Torres, V.M., and Allen, D.T., Application of the carbon balance method to flare emissions characteristics, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51, 12577-12585, DOI: 10.1021/ie202676b (2012) Al-Fadhli, F.M., Kimura, Y., McDonald-Buller, E.C., and Allen, D.T. Impact of flare destruction efficiency and products of incomplete combustion on ozone formation in Houston, Texas, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51, 12663-12673, DOI: 10.1021/ie201400z (2012). The following presentations were given at the Air& Waste Management Association June 2012 Conference, and papers were published in the Conference Proceedings: Torres, V.M., Allen, D.T., Herndon, S. and Kodesh, Z., Overview of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality 2010 Flare Study, Air and Waste Association Annual Meeting, Extended Abstract 2012-A-437-AWMA, San Antonio, June, 2012. Torres, V.M., Al-Fadhli, F.M., Allen, D.T., Herndon, S., and Wood, E., Nox Emissions from Industrial Flaring, Air and Waste Association Annual Meeting, Extended Abstract 2012-A-315-AWMA, San Antonio, June, 2012.