Tag Archives: emissions

Technical Knowledge Leads to Productivity, Reduced Emissions

Industrial equipment is subject to harsh conditions and even some abuse, but it is nevertheless expected to operate around the clock for extended periods of time. Typically, a measure of success is if no one can remember the last time maintenance was performed on specific process machinery.

The process must be uninterrupted to meet production goals, but it also must be contained to meet emission regulations. Containing the process not only controls emissions but also increases productivity, as the amount of product lost to the environment is minimized. When problems arise, the equipment design or manufacturing is usually the first line of inquiry to find solutions to the failure. However, that is not necessarily the right place to look for improvements.

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Factors for Successful Emissions-Compliant Valve Stem Seals

Valve seal performance is an important issue with today’s restrictions on emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from valves. Refineries and chemical processing plants, valve manufacturers, seal manufacturers, valve repair companies and outage service companies have a vested interest in ensuring that valves operate within emissions-compliance levels. Careful treatment from each of these parties is required to deliver successful, emissions-compliant valve performance.

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Know Which Mechanical Sealing Options Meet Emissions Requirements

In today’s world, facilities face the  daunting challenge of minimizing the environmental impact of industrial processes. A primary motivation for industrial plants to control their environmental impact is government regulation. In the US, these regulations are issued at the national level by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and similar agencies at the state and local levels.

Before the US government passed the first Clean Air Act in 1963, no federal regulations on gaseous emissions existed. The Clean Air Act initiated research to investigate techniques to monitor and control air pollution. During the 1970s and 1980s, the government passed legislation that established a limit on emission of 10,000 parts per million (ppm) for gases defined as volatile hazardous air pollutants (VHAPs).

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Emissions Valve Packing Technology Evolves to Reduce Methane Leaks

Methane (CH4) is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emitted in the US. In 2013, CH4 accounted for about 10 percent of all US greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Methane’s half-life in the atmosphere is much shorter than that of carbon dioxide (CO2); however, it is significantly more efficient at trapping radiation. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of CH4 on climate change is 25 times greater than that of CO2 during a 100-year period.

One area responsible for contributing to the increase in CH4 is leaking equipment in the oil and gas sector.  A major contributor to this leakage is valves that leak CH4 and sub-derivatives called volatile organic compounds (VOC) from the gland.

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FSA’s Chris Swonger to Present Overview of Methane Mitigation Factor

FSA’s Chris Swonger will join industry leaders and labor and environmental experts to give an overview of the methane mitigation sector—an emerging U.S. industry focused on reducing emissions of methane from the oil and gas sector. Proven, cost-effective solutions already exist to minimize methane emissions—many of them made by American companies. A greater industry focus on curbing methane emissions will boost this U.S. manufacturing sector and drive the creation of good-paying manufacturing and construction jobs.

This discussion will also offer attendees an overview of the methane problem and how the U.S. methane mitigation industry works to combat it, as well as how doing so provides economic benefits to the communities they work in.


Allison Lami, CEO, Rebellion Photonics

Brad Markell, Executive Director, AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council

Chris Swonger, SVP of Government Relations, John Crane

Sean Wright, Senior Analyst, Environmental Defense Fund


Monday, April 13   ·   2:00PM – 3:15PM, Washington, DC – Washington Hilton Hotel


EDF’s report on the methane mitigation sector: http://edf.org/methanejobs



Fluid Sealing Association Responds to EPA Announcement on Methane Emissions

A message from Mike Shorts, President of the FSA:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the outline of their plan to address methane emissions. As the leading trade association that represents North American sealing device manufacturers, the Fluid Sealing Association (FSA) recognizes the importance of addressing the challenges posed by climate change. Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas and contributor to climate change.

Given the important role sealing devices play in preventing leaks and emissions, the FSA and its members are committed to doing its part to address climate change. The FSA is well equipped to work with our partners in the oil and gas sector, the EPA and the Obama Administration in finding solutions and being a technical resource to curtail methane emissions.

Member companies of the FSA offer American-made, cost-effective and proven solutions and we develop sealing technologies that drive emission reductions across the U.S. oil and gas and process industries.

The Fluid Sealing Association is a trade association focused on promoting a safe, clean environment for society and a safe work places for employees. Member companies are involved in the production and marketing of a wide range of fluid and air sealing devices primarily targeted at the energy and industrial process markets. We support the development of related standards and provide education in the fluid sealing area.

Click here to see the New York Times’ article from January 13, 2015.

Why Flexible Graphite’s Consistent Quality is Ideal for Seals, Packings, & Gaskets

Many associations, societies and regulatory agencies have rewritten and redeveloped emissions and leakage standards and controls year after year. When the process rules are changed, manufacturers of seals, packing and gaskets are forced to implement changes as well. The manufacturers either produce seals that are better suited to handle the new regulations or they drop out of the market. These changes affect the way end users must look at the quality of flexible graphite and its ability to seal. Click here to read more.

Greenhouse Gas from Power Plants Declines

The U.S. EPA has released its third year of greenhouse gas (GHS) data detailing carbon emissions and trends from large facilities broken down by industrial sector, GHS, geographic region, and individual facility. The data, required to be collected annually by Congress, highlight a decrease in these emissions as more utilities switch to cleaner burning natural gas.

EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program collects annual information from over 8,000 facilities in the largest emitting industries, including power plants, oil and gas production and refining, iron and steel mills, and landfills. In addition, the program is receiving data on the increasing production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), predominantly used in refrigeration and air-conditioning. This Program is the only one that collects facility-level GHG data from major industrial sources across the U.S.

The 2012 data show that in the two years since reporting began, emissions from power plants have decreased 10%. This is due to a switch from coal to natural gas for electricity generation and a slight decrease in electricity production. Fossil-fuel fired power plants remain the largest source of U.S. GHG emissions. With just under 1,600 facilities emitting over 2 billion metric tons of CO2 in 2012, these plants account for roughly 40% of total U.S. carbon emissions.

The data are accessible through EPA’s online data publication tool, FLIGHT, which is available for both desktop and mobile devices. This year, with three years of data for most sources, FLIGHT now has been updated with new features, including the ability to view trend graphs by sector and facility as well as download charts and graphs for use in presentations and reports. The data are also published through EnviroFacts, which allows the public to download data for further analyses.

Access link to EPA’s GHG Reporting Program Data and Data Publication Tool is: http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/

Access to EnviroFacts: