Better Measurements for Environmental Reporting

by | Apr 12, 2022 | Flow, Sustainability

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Social Marketing Leader

Emerson’s Meha Jha presented Validating the Data and Understanding the Uncertainty for Environmental Reporting at the 2022 4C HSE conference. Here is her presentation abstract:

New sustainability programs are driving an increased focus on environmental reporting requirements. We are going to discuss reporting challenges and measurement issues related to Green Diesel production, Energy & Emissions reductions and possible Carbon Capture in the future. As technologies rapidly evolve in each of these sustainability areas, we continually learn and leverage lessons from other industries and world areas to understand the impact of regulations, and the importance of accurate and reliable data to support environmental objectives. Understanding the uncertainty associated with field measurements, and validating the data used for environmental reporting will be a significant component to sustainability programs.

Meha opened by describing how sustainability encompasses fuel decarbonization, operational system efficiency, emissions control, removal & utilization—for refiners & petrochemical producers, measuring and monitoring performance metrics, emissions management, and renewable fuel usage.

Carbon Intensity (CI) is how much carbon dioxide (CO2) or carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) is emitted by the complete lifecycle of a fuel per unit of energy delivered. CI varies based on lifecycle factors and is strongly influenced by energy efficiency in feedstock selection, feedstock production, and energy and process conversion into fuel.

CI scores determine how many financial credits a regulated party will receive from either producing or utilizing an alternative fuel. The lower the CI Score, the higher the credit.

Measurements matter in low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) reporting. Mass balance accounting can be challenging with co-location facilities in measuring hydrogen consumption, fuel gas consumption, chemical inputs, product and by-product yields, and accuracy of all production, import, and exports. Also, natural gas and plant utilities can be challenging measurements in co-location facilities.

Flow measurement technologies that can help address these challenges include differential pressure (DP) orifice flow and Coriolis mass flow measurement. Green Diesel feedstock switches and diversification impact measurement accuracy, CI calculations, regulatory and credit reporting.

Coriolis flow measures mass flow and liquid density and calculates volume flow. The measurement is independent of changing fluid properties or process conditions. There is no compensation required. There are no impulse lines, unlike DP flow measurement, including meter health and performance diagnostics, reporting, and maintenance.

Coriolis meters are much simpler to verify from a verification standpoint by running Smart Meter Verification. DP meters require a zero span check, verifying the differential pressure output and how it correlates to the correct flow rate, which depends on correct density, temperature, pressure, and orifice plate condition.

Better measurements can improve the CI score since the score varies based on lifecycle factors and is strongly influenced by energy efficiency: Feedstock selection, feedstock production, energy, and process conversion into fuel.

Meha described ways to reduce energy costs, including steam trap monitoring for energy loss, optimizing fired heater fuel usage, combustion control stabilization, flare management, pressure relief valve monitoring, and carbon capture.

Visit the Micro Motion Coriolis Flow Measurement on Emerson.com to drive sustainability improvements in all these areas.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.