Flame and Gas Detection for Refineries

Industry | Oil and Gas

Continuous combustible and toxic gas monitoring is a critical facet of operation and requires specific flame and gas detection for refineries. There are many hazard locations, including:
» Production areas
» Storage hangars and utilities
» Office and control room areas
» Turbine enclosures
» Storage tanks (within the refinery)
» Separate storage tank farms and filling stations (for crude or distillate automotive tankers or rail-cars)

Many refinery processes and special production units create specific process safety hazards, as follows:

Crude Desalting, Thermal Cracking, Coking, Catalytic Cracking, Isomerization – Gas or vapor leaks from these closed processes may create a potential for fire if they come into contact with a source of ignition. Possible sources of ignition include nearby heaters or exchangers. Some of these processes also produce wastewater streams (sour waters), which contain dissolved hydrogen sulfide and ammonia gases in the form of ionic ammonium hydrosulfide. These can occur at lethal concentrations, necessitating toxic gas detection.

Catalytic Dust – Explosive concentrations of catalyst dust can accumulate. Handling coked catalyst can result in fire if iron sulfide ignites spontaneously.

Hydrogen generation – This process creates a hazard in the event of a gas leak.

Hydrogen Sulfide – Monitoring the Hydrogen Sulfide content of the feedstock is essential to prevent harm to personnel or the environment.

Sweetening – If too much oxygen enters the sweetening process, a fire may occur due to static electricity generation in the settler.

Challenges

Detectors must be able to detect flames, toxic gases, and combustible gases, functioning optimally under challenging environmental conditions, including extreme temperatures and harsh winds.

Flame and Gas Detection for Refineries

Industry | LNG and LPG Facilities

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is 600 times denser than the gas form, making it more feasible and less expensive to transport. Several processes are used to make LNG, all of which involve refrigerating the gas and expanding it, to turn into a cryogenic liquid. Spills, leakage, and subsequent explosion are a risk in every operational step of LNG production, from compression and odorization through to storage and distribution. Although the cryogenic liquid is non-flammable, if LNG warms and vaporizes in the air, it may form a rising cloud of methane gas which presents a risk for ignition. In a contained area, this could form an explosion.

The presence of refrigerants also necessitates toxic gas detection in LNG facilities, to protect personnel from harm.

Challenges

Due to the high flammability of the gas, quick, reliable detection is critical. Both flame and gases, such as butane, propane and methane, must be detected at storage, compressor and filling areas. Toxic gas detectors are also necessary to detect harmful concentrations of leaked refrigerants.

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