Improving Pressure Relief Valve Fugitive Emissions

Amr Gado and Calvin Deng present at OTC2018 on pressure relief valve testingIn an earlier post, Creating Pressure Relief Valve Fugitive Emissions Testing, we described the advancement of this effect to create standards in this area.

I joined Emerson’s Dr. Amr Gado and Calvin Deng as they presented this work in an Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) technical track, Striving Toward Safety Excellence in Offshore and Subsea Environments.

Manufacturers and producers are seeking ways to reduce fugitive emissions, both due to environmental regulations and the desire to operate sustainable operations. Valves are the largest source of these emissions and lots of standards are currently available for control valves but not pressure relief valves.

Pressure and safety relief valves do not have actuators, but are operated based on exceeding a pressure setpoint. The valve is closed until the pressure level is exceeded where it opens to relieve the pressure in the vessel.

Calvin described the testing procedure developed in conjunction with one of the certified testing labs. The inlet of the valve is most exposed to the temperature of the vessel, so the testing developed took this into account on where to apply the heating cycles during testing.

For the various types of pressure relief valves tested, leak paths were identified and a mass spectrometer used to identify the helium medium used for the leakage testing.

Amr wrapped up the presentation on testing to create a fugitive-emissions compliant pressure relief valve. Not only are there environmental advantages, but more product is available for sale and less exposure to the risk of regulatory fines for exceeding limits.

To learn more about the wide range of relief valves and which are most suitable for your applications, visit the Pressure and Safety Relief Valves section of You can also connect and interact with other valve and pressure management specialists in the Valves and Regulators groups in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.