Vapour recovery makes for best business practice
The storage, handling and transportation of petro-chemical products to end-users present significant challenges and responsible players in this sector should have an emission control and management strategy to ensure the reduction of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in place.
In March 2010, the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (39/2004) published a list of activities subject to legislative control and the ruling pertaining to the petroleum industry is clearly outlined, particularly with respect to the storage and handling of products with a vapour pressure in excess of 14 kPa, ie. all grades of petrol.
Any facility with a cumulative petrol storage capacity in excess of 500m³ or throughput of 5 000m³ per annum - facilities which handle virtually all the petroleum in South Africa - must be compliant with the legislation.
According to Phil Dawson, director of Soliflo, one of southern Africa’s leading liquid control and tanker loading specialist companies, the installation of vapour recovery and vapour combustion units can go a long way towards being legal and going green.
“The installation of vapour recovery units (VRUs) will up an operation’s bottom line and hae the added benefit of reducing the release of environmentally hazardous hydrocarbon emissions into the atmosphere,” he says. “The most reliable and efficient VRUs are carbon bed units and the Jordan Technologies’ carbon bed VRU that Soliflo supplies, has been proven to recover in excess of 99% of VOCs generated during product loading.”
Dawson claims these VRUs to be the “most efficient and cost-effective on the market today with users able to expect return on investment within 12 months.” A world leader in the field of vapour recovery and combustion units, Jordan Technologies has carbon bed VRU terminals and installations at refineries and petrol tanker loading facilities around the world.
Vapour recovery at retail level
“The installation of VRUs at petrol stations to ensure that vapour loss caused by evaporation during the fuel transfer process is kept to a minimum not only makes sound business sense but ‘eco’ sense as well and, legislation aside, it should be voluntary on the part of owners and operators,” adds Dawson.
“Petrol has become a very costly commodity so from a service station’s perspective, a VRU able to recover VOCs resulting from evaporative loss and product transfer, then returned to the fuel storage tank for re-sale, is great news and Jordan Technologies has addressed this with the development of miniaturized VRUs.
“The quality and proven performance of the equipment used in the vapour recovery process cannot be over-emphasized and I am proud to say that the Soliflo Group has the sole southern African rights for Jordan’s proven vapour recovery equipment range. We are very pleased to be partnering with them in southern Africa,” he concludes.