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Project Number:
Assessment of Two Remote Sensing Technologies to Control Flare Performance
Lead PI:
Vincent Torres
Institution(s) Represented:
The University of Texas at Austin, Aerodyne Research, Inc. - Scott Herndon, Leak Surveys, Inc. - Joshua Furry, Providence Photonics, LLC - Yongshen Zeng
AQRP Project Manager:
David Sullivan
TCEQ Project Liaison:
Russell Nettles
Awarded Amount:

Assessment of Two Remote Sensing Technologies to Control Flare Performance
Industrial flares are devices used at industrial facilities to safely dispose of relief gases in an environmentally compliant manner through the use of combustion. Recent studies of industrial air- and steam-assisted flares have shown that merely complying with federal regulations like the Environmental Protection Agency's 40CFR § 60.18 and 40CFR § 63.11, do not ensure the flare will operate with at high combustion efficiency when combusting hydrocarbons over the entire range of operating scenarios for dual service flares. For vent gas streams containing hydrocarbons, the combustion efficiency (CE) is the percentage of the total hydrocarbon stream entering the flare that burns completely to form only carbon dioxide and water. It is desirable to have high combustion efficiency at all times to maximize flare performance.
The purpose of the proposed project is to conduct a series of field tests using an operational, full-scale industrial flare at a Petrologistics, LLC plant in Houston, Texas, to determine the technical, economic and operational feasibility of two approaches designed to maximize flare performance. These approaches continuously measure or determine the flare's combustion efficiency and would use this information to adjust the steam assist to the flare to adjust the flare's performance. To assess the technical performance of the approaches, the combustion efficiency measurements of each approach will be compared to an independent direct sampling measurement (the reference measurement) of the flare's combustion efficiency to determine the accuracy and completeness of the measurements obtained from the two approaches. For the field tests, the performance of the flare will not be controlled by either of the two approaches so that the prescribed test plan can be conducted with the flare. After the test series, the economic and operational feasibility will be evaluated based on the operational and safety characteristics observed during the tests and the estimated cost to implement each approach.

Executive Summary:
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