The development and validation of standardized methods for the determination of fugitive emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from oil and gas facilities
The legislation on industrial emissions (Directive 2010/75/EU) is supported by the Best Available Techniques Reference documents (BREFs), which set out at an EU level the best available techniques for defined industrial activities and/or across these activities. Several BREFs also cover the prevention and control of fugitive and diffuse emissions of VOCs from industrial storage and transfer activities, in particular the BREFs concerned with mineral oil and gas refineries, large volume organic chemicals, and the "horizontal" BREF on the emissions from storage. The mandate for this work requests the European standardisation organisations to develop a European Standard that can be used in the determination of VOC emissions to be regulated within permits that are issued according to the Directive.
VOCs are emitted to a significant extent by fugitive and diffuse sources (including non-point sources), although this is difficult to quantify accurately. This requirement for more accurate determination of these important VOC emissions creates a challenge because of their area emissions, and they require specific measurement and estimation methods that are currently not standardised. However, improving the accuracy of determining these VOC emissions should enable an improved assessment of these losses, and may provide an incentive to reduce such losses, as well as the benefits to their effects on the environment and human health. This should also contribute to the more uniform application of EU regulations and EU guidance documents.
This presentation will inform the conference on some recent and current activities the authors of this paper are undertaking to develop methods (standards and protocols) for fugitive emission measurements. This will include:
- A summary of the European regulations, in particular the BREF document which requires monitoring of fugitive emissions.
- The current status of the European Standardisation activities in CEN/TC 264/WG 38 which is developing and validating methods for monitoring fugitive emissions.
- The results from the first validation study where a controlled release, able to replicate typical industrial emission levels, was used at an industrial location to challenge the remote sensing techniques with a known release of VOC under typical industrial conditions.
- The preliminary results from the second validation study with the suite of techniques deployed at an industrial facility to validate the combined framework of techniques defined in the standard and demonstrate their operation at a typical site.
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Dr Fabrizio Innocenti (National Physical Laboratory)
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