Plants Step Up the Hunt for Fugitive Emissions


Since the early 1990s, supplemental environmental monitoring has relied on devices using EPA Method 21. Source: Team Industrial Services, Inc.

The quest to reduce fugitive emissions has taken on new urgency at many sites. This reflects increased attention to operational issues, such as product purity and losses, as well as demands by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, D.C., for more stringent leak detection and repair (LDAR) strategies.

One company that has successfully lowered leaks is Air Products & Chemicals, Allentown, Pa. It has achieved significant reductions at its two plants that manufacture nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) — in Hometown, Pa., and Ulsan, South Korea. The chemical, which is classified as a greenhouse gas (GHG), mainly is used for cleaning chemical-vapor-deposition chambers for making liquid crystal displays and thin-film solar cells.

Other featured plants include facilities owned by Solvay, BASF and LyondellBasell.

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