Monitoring the Area of Chemical Facilities

Hazardous gases or vapor-producing liquids are transported, used and stored in the production plant of chemical facilities. In any of these operations there exists the possibility that the hazardous gases or liquids could accidentally leak or spill into the surrounding area.

PPM Monitoring in Real Life

For the past couple weeks we discussed PPM monitoring in chemical processes; in both Carbon Beds and Oxidizers. This week let's look at a real life solvent recovery application:

PPM Monitoring in Oxidizers

In continuation with last week’s discussion on regulations required in the chemical industry, incineration is another way to bring exhaust emissions in line with regulations.

PPM Monitoring in Carbon Beds

Regulations require the chemical industry to continuously monitor VOC emissions and report their compliance status. VOC abatement systems are used to bring exhaust emissions in line with those regulations. Carbon adsorption beds are frequently used in chemical production to control VOC’s by capturing and recycling solvents.

Flame Ionization Detectors (FIDs) are used to monitor the carbon bed exhausts for solvent breakthrough and to control the switching of the carbon beds when they have become saturated.

BTU Monitoring in Flare Stacks

Waste products are collected from various processes around the chemical facility and are sent to a flare stack for destruction. EPA code 60.18 states for optimum combustion efficiency of the stack the waste stream must run at a minimum heating value of between 300-450 BTU/ft3.

Continuous monitoring of the waste stream is necessary to:

Chemical Processes in Real Life

For the past couple weeks we've discussed LFL monitoring in chemical processes, the WHY & the HOW. Now let's see WHAT some real life examples look like (hint…they all have a common theme, they NEED an analyzer that can handle the uniquely tough chemical environment!):

Saving Money in a Chemical Facility

Chemical facilities use a variety of hazardous gases and solvents in their production processes. Danger is present when hazardous buildup of flammable vapors in the atmosphere gets rich enough to ignite or explode. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) establishes fire safety standards, including standards for safe operation of processes. 

LFL Monitoring in Ovens, Dryers, and Incinerators

Many chemical processes involve coating a product with a flammable solvent or mixture of solvents and then heating them in a dryer, batch oven, reactor or other source. The solvents evaporate off in the heating process and are directed to an incinerator for destruction, leaving behind the finished product.

In addition to the solvents, the atmosphere may also contain moisture, halogenated hydrocarbons, silicones and other unknown substances.

Danger is present when hazardous buildup of flammable vapors in the atmosphere gets rich enough to ignite or explode.

Area Monitoring of Storage Areas in Semiconductor Facilities

Hazardous gases are stored and distributed in the semiconductor plant, which includes:

  1. Storage Areas
  2. Distribution
  3. Delivery Piping

In these operations there exists the possibility that the hazardous gas could accidentally leak or spill into the surrounding area. Pumps, control valves, manifolds, piping junctions, fittings and connections are some of the potential sources for leaks or spills. With so many opportunities for leakage, continuous monitoring of such hazards is an essential part of keeping the plant safe.

Application Spotlight: Chemical Processes

Chemical facilities use a variety of hazardous gases and solvents in their production processes. Whenever these substances are transported, processed or stored, the potential risks are high for hazardous conditions. These substances must be continuously monitored to protect personnel and facilities from accidental releases or leakage.

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