Packing Solutions for Fugitive Emissions

Reduction of fugitive emissions is a critical concern for chemical plant and refinery operators to comply with environmental regulations. Despite a 57% fall in total fugitive emissions across the European Community in the twenty years between 1990 and 2010, European refineries alone released over 10,000 tonnes of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere.

Almost three quarters of these emissions came from valves and relief valves. With environmental and legislative pressures, along with significant cost-saving implications, sourcing the optimal sealing solution for industrial valves is crucial to safe and reliable operations.

Controlling Fugitive Emissions
Material scientists and research and development teams are always on the hunt for the next breakthrough technology to reduce fugitive emissions to lower levels. However current technology can be engineered successfully to deal with the rigorous demands placed on industrial valves. The technological skill lies in identifying the correct sealing solution to be employed in a specific operating environment.

A fugitive emission control (FEC) sealing set, which is a engineered combination of sealing elements, is one successful way of maintaining low fugitive emissions for any operational conditions – for valve OEMs as well as MRO within gas, oil and general industry.

Fugitive Emission Control – Sealing Sets
FEC sealing sets combine the extrusion resistance of mechanically-bonded nonwoven packing with the resilience of custom engineered elastomer seals. FEC sealing sets have been the solution of choice for many operators looking to reinforce both new valves and retrofits. Valve sealing sets have proven especially useful when combined with an application specific liveloading system, resulting in leakage rates which are consistently lower than those demanded under emissions legislation – with key regulatory approvals including ISO 15848 and TA-Luft. These FEC sets should also achieve similar results against both helium and methane, depending on the eventual destination of the valve. Whatever the operation, with an effective FEC sealing set, it is possible to meet safety obligations and operate in a more environmentally considerate way, while improving reliability.

Finding The Right Seal
Taking the advice of a technical sealing expert is important when identifying the optimal packing material and the best elastomer grade for an FEC sealing set. By understanding the particular demands of the industry in which a valve will be used, a technical sealing expert can identify where any future weaknesses in the seal might materialize over time. Through this knowledge, every valve in your setup can be customized to perform reliably and to a high standard.

Tel: +44(0)845 120 7415

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 38

Summer 2020 // Issue 53
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