Actions to drive more sustainable operations can include many things including energy optimization, emissions reduction, waste reduction, and more. In a Fugitive Emissions Journal article, ESG Improvements Through Emissions Reduction: Issues and Opportunities, Emerson’s Bruce Ofori shares how new:
…technology adoptions, and reviewing outdated practices and equipment retrofits, can build stakeholder confidence with respect to the reporting of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, volatile organic compounds (VOC), and hazardous air pollutants.
Bruce opens the article by noting that control valves:
…account for about 60% of fugitive emissions in industry and offers an opportunity to improve environmental sustainability performance through emissions reduction initiatives.
He defines fugitive emissions as:
…the unintentional and undesirable emission, leakage, or discharge of gases or vapors from pressure-containing equipment or facilities. In addition, these emissions are unanticipated; as such, they are not detected by typical monitoring and control devices.
Bruce describes the traditional approach of scheduled maintenance. The problem with this approach is that the emissions may have been happening for quite a while in between scheduled inspections. He explains that a:
…more proactive way of tackling fugitive emissions includes switching to low bleed options to use recovered gas, and ultimately reducing inspection cost, replacement and retrofits with electric actuators, and proper equipment and packing designs.
He highlights the importance of using ISO 15848-compliant valve packing to meet the tough emissions regulations and reduce maintenance costs. Fisher ENVIRO-SEAL valve packing systems offer these stringent stem sealing capabilities and protect the environment against the emission of hazardous or polluting fluids to avoid regulatory fines and help keep personnel safe. The long life and reliability of these systems also reduce your maintenance costs and downtime.
Bruce shares some of the actions manufacturers and producers are taking in their sustainability initiatives which include using recycle and renewable feedstocks, collecting biogas from waste sources, and replacing gas-powered valve actuators with electric actuators, such as the Fisher easy-Drive electric actuator (Figure 1).
Read the article for more on other ways to drive ESG improvements through automation and the use of other low-emission technologies. Visit the Fugitive Emissions Reduction section on Emerson.com for more on ways to drive improvements in your Sustainability initiatives.