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Flare Regulatory Trends and Impact on Ethylene Manufacture

Source: AIChE
  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    April 30, 2015
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • Skill Level:
  • PDHs:

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Global attention on improving oil and gas, refinery, petrochemical, and related industrial flaring practices continues its forward advance intimately affecting daily plant operations. 

  • World Bank’s GGFR Initiatives, 2004
  • USEPA Ethylene MACT Compliance Manual, July 2006 (Appendix C)
  • India’s Emission Standards for Oil Refineries, updated 2008, 2010  
  • Canadian Directive S-20 for Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Sector, July 2011
  • EU’s IPPC BREF Note for Refineries – TWG’s Draft 2, March 2012
  • USEPA Refinery Flare Rule NSPS Subpart Ja, November 2012
  • FIP Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, ND, gas flaring, March 2013
  • California’s Proposed Rule for the Refinery Sector – BAAQMD Rule 12-15, 2013
  • UN CDM Update to ACM0001 Flaring and Use of Landfill Gas, Nov 2013
  • Colorado DPHE adopted new O&G Reg. No. 7, Feb 23, 2014
  • North Dakota Industrial Commission, new O&G flare rules, March 2014
  • USEPA Refinery MACT CC/UUU, proposed June 2014
  • USEPA NSPS Quad O for flares, revisions proposed, July 2014
  • USEPA NSPS XXX for MSW Landfills, flares, proposed July 2014
  • Updates to Flare Emission factors – AP-42, proposed August 19, 2014

Further, in the USA, recent 2012-2014 Flare Consent Decrees (CD) issued by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to major USA petroleum and petrochemical facilities have been precipitated by alleged and wide-spread flare “over-steaming” practices in most all industrial applications.  In Texas, the 2011 TCEQ Flare Study Report demonstrated the complex and inter-related impacts of multiple variables on flare performance, indicating that the management of flare combustion efficiency is a complex and highly dynamic process. 

Additional flare monitoring and dynamic steam and supplemental fuel control schemes are being incorporated into the growing global expectation of proper flare control.  The USEPA is using its enforcement powers to move this shift in technological evolution, rather than its rule making processes, but new regulations are coming.  Many USA refinery and some chemical facilities are beginning to operate their flares within these new control schemes.   The growing interest in ground flares as a control option is high; however, there are no regulations in place to adequately cover pressure-assisted flares.

Globally, many environmental agencies refer to the USEPA rules on flare operation and performance, monitoring, and test methods.  Significant changes are anticipated for these USEPA rules which may affect many companies operating beyond the USA boarders.  This presentation will inform the conference delegates of likely future environmental considerations for ethylene production flaring within their facilities and companies.

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