From Valve Handbook, Second Edition

9.9 Fugitive Emissions

9.9.1 Introduction to Fugitive Emissions

In many industrial regions of the world, increasing levels of environmental pollution have led to enactment of strict antipollution laws, which target emissions from automobiles, home heating systems, and industry. In particular, process industries have been under legislative mandate to reduce or eliminated fugitive emissions from their process systems. These antipollution laws target all devices that penetrate a process line, such as valves, sensors, regulators, flow meters, etc. Although many users see such legislation as costly and labor-consuming, a side benefit to tighter fugitive-emissions control is a more efficient system, with less lost product and greater efficiency. Even if a user is not under legislative mandate to reduce emissions, maintaining a strict antifugitive emissions program can provide greater production savings than the actual cost of the program. A case in point is the power-generation industry that, in the past, has accepted leakage of steam applications as standard operating procedure. Although steam (being water-based) is not a fugitive emission, power plants have discovered that using high-temperature seals prevents significant steam losses, which in turn lowers operating costs. In addition, power plants are operating more in the range of high-pressure superheated steam to improve energy efficiencies, which requires new sealing systems for safety reasons.

9.9.2 Clean Air Legislation

In the United States, the Clean Air Act was amended in 1990 to include some of the strictest laws regarding industrial pollution. In general terms, it mandates lower fugitive emissions from process equipment, including valves. Because...

Products & Services
Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS)

Continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) are used for the evaluation of pollutants from a gaseous exhaust. An integrated scheme of instrument hardware and a data acquisition system allows the operator to repeatedly measure emissions to remain within environmental regulatory compliance that has been established by legislation. 

Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) Systems
Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems inject ammonia into boiler flue gas and pass it through a catalyst bed where the nitrogen oxide gas (NOx) and ammonia react to form nitrogen and water vapor.
Desuperheaters are used to cool steam in power plants.
Steam Valves
Steam valves are used to control the flow and pressure level of steam and heated water vapor.
Boilers (industrial)
Industrial boilers are closed vessels that use a fuel source or electricity to heat water or generate steam for industrial heating and humidification applications.

Topics of Interest

Today many companies are faced with unique air pollution control problems arising from their coating operations. Not only are vented emissions required to be controlled, but now a more pressing issue...

Air Discharges The discharge, or release, of substances to the air, no matter how slight, is regarded as air pollution. Discharges can be direct, by means of a stack, vent, hood, or the like, or...

The Clean Air Act requires refineries to develop and implement a Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) program to control fugitive emissions. Fugitive emissions occur from valves, pumps, compressors,...

Pharmaceutical 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...

Chemical processing facilities across the country are facing ever tightening restrictions for volatile organic compound (VOC) and hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions. These emissions can be...