Reducing Carbon Consumption and Costs for BWON Compliance
Updated: Feb 12, 2020
Refiners have been challenged to properly implement BWON related controls and determine the most effective control system with respect to cost and efficiency. The significant variability in contaminant concentrations poses issues in designing the vapor control system for many BWON applications. Changing emissions characteristics of a refinery waste system can render a well-conceived method ineffective.
Activated carbon or combustion devices can be best design when the vent gas is consistent in flow and concentration. Carbon, when designed and used properly, is the most effective control device for managing lower concentration, less than 1%, hydrocarbon contaminant for achieving zero emissions. However, when activated carbon experiences high hydrocarbon contaminant loading situations, the carbon bed layout can render the activated carbon ineffective where no contaminants are removed from the vent stream and can even create hazardous environments.
System dynamics create considerable issues for current BACT. Activated carbon is widely understood to be the most effective technology for BWON applications. Thermal oxidizers/combustors can be used for high hydrocarbon saturated applications. Flow characteristics (flow rate/velocity, temperature, and humidity) of the emissions stream and vent stream dynamic characteristics (flow rates, contaminant variability, and water content) greatly impact system effectiveness.Difficult and dynamic systems create substantial issues for traditional control technologies for BWON applications costing a facility significant hard and soft dollars. Combustion devices are designed for fuel rich environments and are inefficient when extreme variability in flow and concentrations are observed. This can become a high OpX cost.
Vapor Point’s VaporLock™ system is designed for variability in flow and contaminant concentration, providing for up to 99% recovery or removal of benzene, VOCs, HAPs, and other unwanted contaminants. It allows the activated carbon to perform as a polishing media, by significantly reducing the hydrocarbon content in the vapor stream while providing consistent flow, yielding improved carbon utilization, and significant extension in the carbon canister life. The VaporLock™ system dramatically reduces hard and soft dollar costs, effectively manages environmental and safety risks, and increases operational efficiencies.
VaporLock™ control technology has been utilized within many areas of operations, while also providing for the elimination of other HAPs such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. Common applications include API sumps and separators, dissolved air/nitrogen floatation systems, tank vent emissions controls, sludge processing operations, vacuum truck and frac tank controls and we have even designed equipment for the complete by-pass of existing sump systems. Read our BWON Emissions Controls white paper to learn how we were able to save our client $2.1MM a year and decrease carbon consumption by 80,000 lbs per month!
About the Author:
Jim Woodard began working with Vapor Point in 2015 as the Vice President of Business Development. Jim devises short-term strategies that best serve our customers’ long-term goals. He encourages his team to challenge the status quo, to fully understand our customers’ challenges in order to provide solutions with maximum value. Contact: email@example.com