Starting today, all documentation accessible via the Resources tab at LDARtools.com will be moved to the LDARtools Knowledge Base.
For those not yet familiar with our Knowledge Base, you can access it via the Support tab at LDARtools.com, as shown below.
Where you would previously navigate to a Box folder, simply navigate to the corresponding product module in the Knowledge Base to access any available documentation.
Energy executives must understand the application of LDAR in monitoring fugitive emissions to ensure a safe and sustainable refinery. In truth, there are actually multiple ways that LDAR equipment and methods help reduce gas leaks in facilities. Read on to learn the different LDAR techniques for monitoring unwanted emissions.
Optical Gas Imaging (OGI)
Optical gas imaging is by far the most accurate and widely used application of modern LDAR monitoring processes. OGI systems consist of infrared cameras that make volatile organic compounds (VOCs) visible to the human eye, allowing technicians a clear view of potential, typically invisible gas leaks.
OGI technology is non-destructive and incredibly sensitive, allowing for convenient and flexible integration into any refinery. Notably, this LDAR application is useful for identifying hazards in inaccessible or otherwise hard-to-reach areas, eliminating the need for equipment shutdowns or facility inactivity. Most important to your LDAR program, however, is the fast repair times afforded by OGI technology!
Method 21 is a set of protocols created by the Environmental Protection Agency and is a common element of refinery LDAR programs. In essence, Method 21 acts as a “sniffing” technique—with the help of a handheld flame ionization detector (FID)—to detect various organic materials in the air. FIDs are calibrated to sense methane and related hydrocarbons found in fugitive emissions and visually alert technicians when concentrated levels exceed the thresholds dictated by Method 21.
Thankfully, FID instruments are quite user-friendly and require minimal training, ensuring faster monitoring processes throughout your facility overall. Additionally, the portable nature of Method 21 monitoring is supremely applicable to any existing LDAR program. The one downside of this LDAR application is the potential for false FID readings caused by atmospheric elements (wind, air pressure, and other environmental factors). For that reason, most technicians utilize Method 21 in conjunction with other applications on this list.
OGI and Method 21 are two incredibly effective applications of modern LDAR. However, there are a few other fugitive emissions monitoring processes worth implementing into your existing LDAR program for additional efficacy. Mainly, ultrasonic testing is a helpful monitoring procedure that’s ideal for gas and vapor refinery systems. Utilizing highly sensitive monitoring equipment, ultrasonic testing can illustrate invisible gas leaks through audible signals or visual displays.
Like OGI, ultrasonic testing is non-destructive and suitable for hard-to-reach equipment. However, this method is vulnerable to ambient noise and other atmospheric factors. Furthermore, ultrasonic technology is not as effective when monitoring systems with liquid. Therefore, only facilities with gas and vapor systems rely on ultrasonic testing.
The application of LDAR in monitoring fugitive emissions is complex, wide-reaching, and, most importantly, essential for protecting surrounding communities and the environment. Ensure your refinery features the very best LDAR technology by browsing our selection of fugitive emissions solutions here at LDARtools!
- Tapping the hardware back button while on the home page no longer leaves the app on a white screen. If user was on a screen in Chateau Mobile that did not have a back button at the top and they used the hardware back button, the app would just display a white screen. The user would then have to stop the app and relaunch for it to work again.
- Updated text in various places from Freedom to Chateau Mobile. We missed a few places when we did the name change apparently so just updating them.
- Resolved issues with the backups not saving to the SD card when present. This has been tested and verified working on the Archer 3, Kyocera DuraForce 2, Samsung tablet running Android OS 6.0, and Samsung tablet OS 12. It may not work on every manufacturers Android devices as each manufacturer can change file saving. To verify your handhelds are saving correctly to the SD card if it is not one of the four devices listed above, please refer to the Retrieving Data from SD Card article.
- Users will now be prompted to update from Chateau Moible when there is a new version available. When the app is launched it will prompt the user to update, if the Google Playstore is installed on the handheld then it will navigate them to Chateau mobile in the Playstore to update. If Google Playstore is not installed, such as on the Archer 3’s, then it will open the web browser with a download link from LDARtools’ Sharefile to download and install. Users will be forced to update if there is a compatibility issue before they can check out on the Sync screen. Users will be able to check in data without updating.
- All required properties that are also Flag properties are now verified they have a value before allowing technician to save a component on the Documenting grid. When a required property was a flag property previously this verification was not being performed which caused issues with saving components when a required property on the flag was overlooked and didn’t get a value.
- The FixTag reconciliation dialog will now open.
- Technicians can now record that they are using an extension probe with an analyzer and all inspections performed with the analyzer will be marked as having been performed with an extension probe. On the Analyzer details screen when the technician first connects to the analyzer there is now a Probe Type dropdown. Technician can select Extension probe or Standard if needed, it defaults to Standard. Technician can return to the screen to update this value as needed. If extension probe is chosen, all M21 inspections performed with this analyzer will be marked with probe type = extension probe. This option is also available when entering PPM manually.
Ethylene oxide (EtO) is a colorless, flammable gas widely used as a sterilizing agent in various industries, including the medical, pharmaceutical, chemical, and agricultural sectors. Due to its potential health risks, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established strict regulations to limit EtO emissions and maintain air quality. In this blog, we will discuss the key users of EtO, the impact of these regulations on air quality, the importance of using advanced detection methods like the phx42 FID to find leaks, and the necessity of continuing to monitor and enforce these standards.
1. Who Uses Ethylene Oxide and Its Health Risks
EtO is primarily used by several industries:
a. Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries:
EtO is a highly effective sterilizing agent, making it a popular choice for sterilizing medical equipment and pharmaceutical products that cannot withstand high temperatures or moisture. This includes items such as surgical instruments, sutures, catheters, and implantable medical devices.
b. Chemical Industry:
EtO is used as a precursor to produce ethylene glycol, a critical component in the manufacturing of products like antifreeze, polyester fibers, and plastic bottles. It is also used to manufacture other chemicals, such as surfactants, detergents, and adhesives.
In some cases, EtO is used to fumigate and sterilize agricultural products, like spices and grains, to eliminate bacteria, fungi, and pests.
d. Food Packaging:
While less common, EtO may also be used to sterilize certain types of food packaging materials that are sensitive to heat or moisture.
EtO is classified as a carcinogenic substance, with long-term exposure linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, including leukemia and lymphomas. Additionally, acute exposure can cause respiratory irritation, headache, dizziness, and other neurological symptoms. Given these potential health impacts, it is crucial to regulate EtO emissions to protect both the environment and public health.
2. EPA Regulations on EtO Emissions
In 2008, the EPA revised the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) to further limit EtO emissions from industrial sources. The 2008 regulations established stringent control measures for EtO emissions, including requirements for control devices, monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting.
In response to growing concerns about the potential health risks of EtO exposure, the EPA has continued to strengthen its regulatory framework. In 2016, the EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program updated its risk assessment for EtO, significantly lowering the acceptable exposure level.
3. The Impact of Regulations on Air Quality
Since the implementation of stricter EPA regulations, there has been a significant decrease in EtO emissions. Monitoring data indicates that facilities subject to NESHAP requirements have achieved substantial emission reductions, resulting in improved air quality in surrounding communities.
In addition to federal regulations, some states have adopted even more stringent standards for EtO emissions. This has led to further reductions in emissions and improvements in air quality at the state level.
4. Using phx42 FID to Detect Leaks and Limit Exposure
The phx42 Flame Ionization Detector (FID) is an advanced leak detection technology that helps industries reduce EtO emissions and limit human exposure to this hazardous substance. The device works by detecting organic compounds like EtO in the air and providing accurate, real-time measurements of their concentrations.
By utilizing the phx42 FID to identify and locate leaks in the equipment and processes that handle EtO, industries can quickly address and repair these issues, minimizing the release of EtO into the environment. This, in turn, leads to reduced emissions and improved air quality, thus protecting the health of workers and surrounding communities.
The use of advanced detection technologies like the phx42 FID is essential in ensuring the effectiveness of EPA regulations and meeting emission reduction goals. Moreover, these tools contribute to the ongoing efforts of industries to minimize their environmental impact and protect public health.
EPA regulations on EtO emissions have had a significant positive impact on air quality and public health. By establishing strict standards and consistently enforcing them, the EPA has been successful in reducing EtO emissions and limiting human exposure to this hazardous substance. The use of advanced leak detection technologies, such as the phx42 FID, plays a crucial role in identifying and mitigating EtO emissions, contributing to improved air quality and a safer environment. It is essential to continue monitoring and enforcing these regulations to maintain and enhance the progress achieved in air quality improvement, ensuring a healthier future for all.
We hope you will join us in welcoming the newest member of our merry band, Tori Duran.
Tori has joined as our Marketing Associate and Chateau Onboarding Coordinator. From the very beginning, Tori has already made a tremendous contribution in working with prospects, customers and new Chateau users. The best part is that she is keeping Rex super busy – which is a good thing for him!
We were all delighted that Tori got to coordinate our 16th Brownie Celebration as soon as she came on board. So she knows how this works: good things happen at LDARtools- and we all celebrate.
When asked what she likes best about her new role, Tori, said….
My favorite part about my new role at LDARtools is working with all of the remarkably intelligent, kind and enthusiastic people that make up the LDARtools team. LDARtools really does have some fascinating products and it’s all made that much better by the people who show up every day to make it work. Everyone has been so welcoming and it’s clear that they all love working here…and now I do too!
(Special personal update: on April 15, Tori’s last name will slide from “Duran” to “Moses” as she and Brendan (Rex and Valerie’s youngest son) are getting married. Pray for Tori- because Brendan is a piece of work!)
Thank you all for participating in our 16th Brownie Celebration. This was all possible because we had NO phx21s or phx42s in our repair lab, due to our experienced Level 1 Certified Repair Techs, enhanced automated support system, and improved technician training methods.
Nothing makes us happier than to see our customers enjoying their well-earned brownies. Special thanks to everyone who shared pictures with us! We hope you all will participate in our next one!
By Kilian Regan, Chief Product Officer, and Kevin Moses, Director of Operations, LDARtools
The year was 1996 and 11-year-old me (Kevin Moses), and my 9-year-old brother, were up to no good, or so we thought. Mom and Dad left us in the hands of our very capable teenage sister, who was undoubtedly talking on the cordless phone in her room. Recently Dad left a video in the VCR called “Fugitive Emissions” and this was the moment we had been waiting for.
Different Methods Available
- The Correlation Equation method converts ppm to mass flow using equations provided by the EPA. This is the most common method used.
- The Average Emission Factors(AEF) method uses an industry average (generally determined by the EPA) to report unmeasured components. This method is used if components do not have monitoring (ppm) data.
- Others, such as >10,000ppm or < 10,000pmm (aka Leak, No Leak) OR AEF, are created using a facility’s historical data. These are largely unused and highly complex. They are mentioned only to highlight that they will not be covered in this overview.
The Correlation Equation
- Zero Readings Emission Rates. Assumes there is a very small leak on 0 reading components.
- Peg Factors Emission Rates for analyzers that peg at 10,000ppm and 100,000ppm.
- The ppm Correlation Equation for everything in between 0 and analyzer peg.
The following is an example of a Valve in a refinery in Light Liquid Service:
- Zero Reading Emission Rate: 7.8E-6 kg/hr
- Pegged 10,000ppm: 0.064 kg/hr
- Pegged 100,000ppm: 0.14 kg/hr
- Correlation Equation: 2.29E-6(ppm)^0.746
Direct Measurement can also be used to replace or update the estimates. An example would be after finding a leak (ppm), another trip would be made to the component with a specialized device, such as a bagging kit or High Flow Sampler, that can capture all of the leak with a known amount of dilution. While the reading from the device is measured in concentration, the known dilution allows an accurate mass flow rate of the leak to be calculated.
Calculating Emissions Between Data Points
Linear interpolation (trapezoid) is the most commonly used calculation method and assumes that emission rates increase/decrease linearly between routine data points. As with almost everything about emission reporting of fugitives, the only thing known, is the likelihood it is not actually true. The change in the leak was almost certainly caused by an event, but there is no way to prove this with the data available.
There are exceptions to the linear assumption. One example is the emissions after a leak and before a repair attempt. The emissions rate is assumed to continue at the same rate until the repair attempt, as logic would suggest. See Chart 1 for an illustration of this.
Average Emission Factors
Since joining LDARtools in July 2021, Glen has distinguished himself as a valuable member of LDARtools.
He has played a key role in selecting and implementing the new talentLMS learning system, configuring our new online Knowledge Base for Chateau (and other software products), as well as streamlining our internal document management process.
His attention to detail and leadership have been huge assets for each project, and as recognition for his extraordinary efforts, he has been promoted to the position of Document Manager.
We look forward to his continued contributions.
Congratulations to Glen!
On January 2nd, 2023, there were NO phx21 or phx42s in our Repair lab.
Thank you to all the phx21 & phx42 Level 1 Techs and users. As a result of continued teamwork and diligence, this is all possible.
We hope you’ll be a part of this celebration!
Click here to RSVP before February 28th
You can also email email@example.com to RSVP.
Please include “Brownie Celebration RSVP” in the email subject line.
Please also provide the following information in the body of your email:
City, State ZIP
Street Address Line 1
Street Address Line 2
Complete shipping address (cannot be a PO Box)
First and Last Name
Site ID or Company Name
Number of phx21 & phx42 friends will be at your celebration (48 max)
Thank you again to all the phx21 & phx42 Level 1 Techs and users.
The link is active until February 28th.
1102 Dickinson Ave.
Dickinson, Texas 77539
Telephone: +1 (877) 788-1110
Fax: +1 (866) 385-9142
Hours of Operation
Mo-Th: 8:00AM – 5:00PM
Fr: 8:00AM – 3:00PM
After Hours: By Appointment
© 2020 LDARtools. All rights reserved.