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Project Number:
Development of Speciated Industrial Flare Emission Inventories for Air Quality Modeling in Texas
Lead PI:
Daniel Chen
Institution(s) Represented:
Lamar University- Daniel Chen
AQRP Project Manager:
Vince Torres
TCEQ Project Liaison:
Jim MacKay
Awarded Amount:

Executive Summary- Project 10-022
Development of Speciated Industrial Flare Emission Inventories for Air Quality Modeling in Texas
Current methodologies for calculating VOC emissions from flaring activities generally apply a simple mass reduction to the VOC species sent to the flare.  While it is assumed that a flare operating under its designed conditions and in compliance with 40 CFR 60.18 may achieve 98% destruction/removal efficiency (DRE), a flare operating outside of these parameters may have a DRE much lower than 98%. Basic combustion chemistry demonstrates that many intermediate VOC species may be formed by the combustion process.
In this project, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods based on CHEMKIN-CFD and FLUENT are used to model low-Btu, low- flow rate propylene/TNG/nitrogen flare tests conducted during September, 2010 in the John Zink test facility, Tulsa, Oklahoma. The flare test campaign was the focus of the TCEQ Comprehensive Flare Study Project (PGA No. 582-8-862-45-FY09-04) and AQRP Project 10-009 in which plume measurements using both remote sensing and direct extraction were carried out to determine flare efficiencies and emissions of regulated and photo chemically important pollution species for air-assist and steam-assist flares under open-air conditions. This project will (1) primarily use CFD modeling as a predicting tool for the Tulsa flare performance tests (2) further compare the CFD modeling with the flare performance data and speciated volatile organic compound (VOC) concentrations if the data are available by May 31, 2011.  This modeling tool has the potential to help TCEQ's on-going evaluation on flare emissions and to serve as a basis for a future State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision.
The 50-species mechanism is reduced from the combined GRI and USC mechanisms with the goal of allowing NOx formation and handling light hydrocarbon combustion. This Lamar mechanism has been validated against methane, ethylene, and propylene experimental data.  More photochemically important NOx species will also be added to the existing mechanism and an evaluation with lab data will be carried out for this new mechanism.
Lamar University (LU) will acquire the operating, design, and meteorological data of the flare test campaign from the University of Texas (UT) and conduct CFD modeling and prediction.  The test data, if acquired by May 31, 2011, will be compared with the model results. The test data include Combustion Efficiency (CE), Destruction & Removal Efficiencies (DRE) and monitored  CO/CO2, NO, NO2, methane, acetylene, ethylene, propylene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acetone concentrations.  Cases will be modeled for the effect of varying steam flow and heating value for the steam-assist flare and the effect of varying air flow and heating value for the air-assist flare.

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Publications & Citations
Kanwar Devesh Singh, Preeti Gangadharan, Daniel Chen, Helen H. Lou, Xianchang Li, P. Richmond, "CFD Modeling of Laboratory Flames and an Industrial Flare," manuscript submitted to Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (under revision). Kanwar Devesh Singh, Preeti Gangadharan, Daniel Chen, Helen H. Lou, Xianchang Li, P. Richmond, " Parametric Study of Ethylene Flare Operations and Validation of a Reduced Combustion Mechanism," Engineering Applications of Computational Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 211-228 (2014). Hitesh S. Vaid, Kanwar Devesh Singh, Helen H. Lou, Daniel Chen, Peyton Richmond, "A Run Time Combustion Zoning Technique towards the EDC Approach in Large-Scale CFD Simulations," International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat and Fluid Flow, Vol. 24 No. 1, 2014, pp. 21-35. K. Singh, T. Dabade, H. Vaid, P. Gangadharan, D. Chen, H. Lou, X. Li, K. Li, C. Martin, "Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Industrial Flares Operated in Stand-By Mode," Industrial Flares special issue, Ind. & Eng. Chem. Research, 51 (39), 12611-12620, October, 2012. H. Lou, D. Chen, C. Martin, X. Li, K. Li, H. Vaid, K. Singh, P. Gangadharan, "Optimal Reduction of the C1-C3 Combustion Mechanism for the Simulation of Flaring, " Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Industrial flares special issue, 51 (39), 12697-12705, October, 2012. H. Lou, C. Martin, D. Chen, X. Li, K. Li, H. Vaid, A. Tula, K. Singh,"Validation of a Reduced Combustion Mechanism for Light Hydrocarbons," Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 737-748, August 2012, DOI 10.1007/s10098-011-0441-6. Helen H. Lou, Christopher B. Martin, Daniel Chen, Xianchang Li, Kyuen Li, Hitesh Vaid, Anjan Tula Kumar, Kanwar Devesh Singh, & Doyle P. Bean, "A reduced reaction mechanism for the simulation in ethylene flare combustion," Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 229-239, April 2012, doi:10.1007/s10098-011-0394-9.