(159c) Proactive Flare Minimization During Chemical Plant Startups

Liu, C., Lamar University
Yang, X., Lamar University
Li, K., Lamar University

Flaring emission during chemical plant turnaround operations generates huge amounts of off-spec products for flaring, and thus causes negative environmental and social impacts and also results in tremendous raw material and energy losses. For instance, an ethylene plant with 1.2 billion pounds of ethylene production per year may flare five million pounds of ethylene during one typical startup, which generates 15.4 million pounds of CO2, 7.5 K lbs of NOX, 40 K lbs of CO, 100 K lbs of highly reactive VOCs. Obviously, minimizing flaring has great environmental, societal, and economic significance.

Based on previous studies on flare minimization at Lamar University, this work will address the proactive flare emission reduction strategy. In this strategy, process design and operation will be integrated together to reduce the startup time, so as to reduce the amount of flaring sources. The simulated dynamic emission profiles for various species during a plant startup will be presented. The potential environmental impacts and economic benefits derived from the proposed flare minimization solutions are also provided.