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Honeywell UOP opens first facility in China to test flare emissions for VOCs

Honeywell UOP’s Callidus Technologies business began operation of China’s only facility capable of testing flare emissions for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The test center in Luoyang, Henan Province, aids customers that are working to reduce emissions of VOCs in industrial flare systems and improve flare operation.

The Callidus Luoyang Combustion Research and Development Center is the largest test facility of its kind in Asia. Its design and testing methodology was developed by Callidus in conjunction with the US Environmental Protection Agency, resulting in a significant improvement over industrial design requirements.

Measuring flare emissions can be difficult and dangerous because flares lack an enclosed combustion chamber, often are elevated, and they come in many different designs and sizes. Combusted gases can be emitted in any direction at any velocity, so we use a patent-pending hood-like structure and sampling rake with multiple sample ports to gather accurate readings from the flare.

—Henry Liu, vice president and general manager of Honeywell UOP China

Flare VOC emissions can be reduced by controlling combustion performance. The destruction and removal efficiency (DRE) of flare gas is measured as a percentage of total hydrocarbons removed or destroyed by the flare. This is one of the key factors to measuring the performance of flare VOC emissions because it represents how well the flare performs.

The test facility confirms that the DRE of Callidus flare tips exceeds 99.5%, resulting in a 75% reduction in VOC emissions and exceeding standard industrial design requirements of 98% of DRE.

As China enacts stricter environmental regulations, Callidus’ capabilities in flare technology make it possible for its customers to comply with those regulations and better ensure sound environmental practices. Until this test center was commissioned, testing of this kind was not performed in China.

The DRE test capability at Honeywell’s Luoyang R&D center will provide a valuable reference for the whole industry and national regulations. Currently, we are working on a research project sponsored by the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau about Shanghai’s VOC emission standard and its testing and certification technology standard. As a global flare technology leader, Honeywell’s advanced Callidus technology, complete database, and profound experience in related areas definitely will contribute to the successful completion of our project. We encourage companies to think ahead and consider switching to more environmentally friendly solutions for the long run.

—Professor Xiu Guangli of East China University of Science and Technology

In 2016, the Callidus Technologies business inaugurated a new state-of-the-art facility for the testing of gas combustion flares at its manufacturing facility in Beggs, Okla. The new flare field was built to develop the next generation of low-emission, open-flame equipment and flame sensing technologies. Roughly half the size of a football field, and surrounded on three sides by a 45-foot steel containment wall, the facility includes visual field and infrared cameras to monitor flame condition and quality, and extractive gas plume sampling equipment to validate performance criteria.

This is a full-scale outdoor laboratory that replicates real-world operating conditions and that allows us to conduct scientific analysis of flares and other open flame equipment at a level that was never was possible before. The facility was engineered to replicate the environment of a typical customer, so we know exactly how the new products we develop will perform when they enter service.

—Neil Eckersley, general manager of Honeywell UOP’s Callidus Technologies business

The new facility uses DCS controls from Honeywell Process Solutions to blend various fuels that simulate any composition of gases that a customer may need to dispose of, quickly, safely and efficiently. In addition to new product research and development, the flare field is used to conduct quality testing of a wide range of equipment that is manufactured at the Beggs facility.

Included among that equipment is Callidus’ new Galaxy multi-point ground flare, which provides greater flexibility for a refiner and a lower profile than a traditional tower-style pipe flare. The Galaxy product line is designed for operation in a wide variety of refinery and petrochemical plant applications worldwide.

Ground flares are an increasingly favored option because their low profile minimizes the visibility of the combustion process. The multi-point design breaks the gas into many small flames, which improves air accessibility, produces almost no smoke and contains thermal radiation within the containment wall. As a result, refineries and petrochemical plants can operate more harmoniously in or near populated areas.

Callidus flares are used in hydrocarbon and petrochemical processing, oil and gas production and the steel and carbon black industries. Since it was established in 1989, Callidus Technologies has commissioned more than 6,500 flare systems worldwide.

Honeywell UOP has an 80-year history in China, beginning in 1937 when it helped build one of China’s first refineries in Yumen, Gansu Province. It was among the first American companies invited back to China during the 1970s to modernize the Chinese petroleum industry. More recently, Honeywell UOP hydroprocessing and Platforming technology has helped China develop cleaner-burning transportation fuels to combat air pollution.

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