Perimeter Chemical Sensing: What is it and Why is it Needed?

Fenceline, or perimeter, monitoring is the use of monitoring technology to measure the ambient air concentration of a particular chemical at the perimeter line of a manufacturing site (e.g., petroleum refinery, chemical plant).

According to new federal data collected by the Environmental Integrity across the country, oil refineries are releasing benzene into local neighborhoods and putting the health of residents in danger.

Operators nationwide are now required to resolve the issue where monitors have detected benzene levels that are considered to be a danger to human health by the Environmental Protection Agency.

What is Fenceline Monitoring

Fenceline monitoring programs have been developed to help industrial sites and surrounding communities understand how the emissions controls that are in place are working.

Monitoring results ensures that the emissions management systems are functioning as planned. If they are not, immediate action is required to diagnose any potential issues and take appropriate action well before levels of emissions become harmful to the local community or workers.

With the potential loss of material from leaky pipes and joints, organizations take advantage of routine leak inspection, also known as leak detection and repair (LDAR). Small leaks can be identified and fixed before any further damage is caused.

The early detection of leaks is usually less costly to repair and significantly reduces overall downtime of facilities. It also demonstrates a compliance with legislation regarding emissions whilst also protecting the environment of your workers and local surroundings.

However, the cost of 24/7 (365 dpyr) LDAR teams can be unaffordable for large Petro sites

This means the requirement for Fenceline monitoring has increased, as it is now the 1st point of detection with LDAR activities that have been scaled relative to fugitive emissions, which are reported via perimeter sensing nodes.

Perimeter Chemical Sensing: What is it and Why is it Needed?

Image Credit: Ion Science

People residing in an area containing several large-scale facilities or industrial refineries could be vulnerable to hazardous air pollutants each day if appropriate measures are not taken.

Indeed, refinery flares emit multiple climate-warming gases and toxic, cancer-causing pollutants that pose health risks to surrounding communities and contribute to smog production.

A 2016 study found that children living near a refinery in Texas City, Texas, experienced neurological problems, diarrhoea, trouble breathing and other health impacts because they were exposed to benzene, a known carcinogen, after a flaring incident.

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New federal data show that oil refineries across the U.S. are releasing benzene into nearby neighborhoods.

What is EPA Method 325 Fenceline Monitoring?

On December 1, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed and published in the Federal Register the revised regulations for New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Petroleum Refineries and the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Petroleum Refineries.

The new regulations demand that petroleum refinery owners and operators implement a number of modifications in the following years. One of the main changes was the introduction of compulsory continuous fence line monitoring for benzene.

This was put forward to account for and monitor fugitive emissions from sources such as leaking equipment and wastewater treatment. The air concentration limit implemented by this continuous monitoring is 9 μg/m3. Surpassing this limit will provoke corrective action(s) that the facility must perform.

Fence Line Monitoring with Fixed Photoionization Detectors (PID)

Fixed Photoionization Detectors (PIDs) are a great way for you to remain compliant with site emission levels; one of the many sources for the need of fence line monitoring is when Fugitive Emissions leaks occur.

As well as symbolizing an economic loss through lost commodities, fugitive emissions leaks also contribute to air pollution and climate change. While environmental damage is unacceptable, fugitive emissions can also present a more immediate threat.

PIDs have been developed for plant wide safety and the continuous protection of workers in petrochemical and oil and gas applications around the world.

ION’s most recent fixed gas detector exhibits the pioneering typhoon technology for unparalleled accuracy in condensing atmospheres and extreme weather conditions while providing continuous, reliable and rapid detection of VOCs & TACs, including benzene, in high humidity environments without fault.

Fenceline Monitoring of Fugitive Emissions

Falco Diffused – Fixed VOC Gas Detector

Falco Diffused, Fixed VOC Gas Detector is perfect for the detection of VOCs and TACs in areas such as refineries and petrol chemical facilities.

Perimeter Chemical Sensing: What is it and Why is it Needed?

Image Credit: Ion Science

Falco Pumped – Fixed VOC Gas Monitor

Falco pumped instruments are perfect for detecting VOCs and TACs in hard-to-reach locations, such as underground or in confined spaces.

Perimeter Chemical Sensing: What is it and Why is it Needed?

Image Credit: Ion Science

Falco TAC Diffused – Fixed Gas Detector

Falco TAC Diffused, fixed gas detector is perfect for detecting VOCs and TACs in areas such as refineries and petrol chemical facilities.

Perimeter Chemical Sensing: What is it and Why is it Needed?

Image Credit: Ion Science

Falco TAC Pumped – Fixed Gas Monitor

Falco TAC pumped instruments are perfect for detecting VOCs and TACs in hard-to-reach locations, such as underground or in confined spaces.

Perimeter Chemical Sensing: What is it and Why is it Needed?

Image Credit: Ion Science

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Ion Science.

For more information on this source, please visit Ion Science.

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