New industry standards aimed at reducing fugitive emissions have necessitated updates to valve-testing procedures and a renewed focus on high-performance sealing and packing technologies
While reducing fugitive emissions is a leading concern in the fight against climate change, emissions continue to be released via leakage of process equipment in manufacturing plants and other operations in many industrial sectors. Valve leakage is reportedly responsible for more than 65% of total fugitive emissions, by some estimates. As a result, valves have been a considerable area of focus in the effort to reduce fugitive emissions.
So, where are the chemical process industries (CPI) headed in the quest to achieve reductions in fugitive emissions? Regulators and end users are currently working on developing, expanding and improving several industry standards for fugitive emissions and valve seals (Figure 1), as summarized below:
ISO 15848: Measurement, Test and Qualification Procedures for Fugitive Emissions
API 622: Type Testing of Process Valve Packing for Fugitive Emissions
API 624: Type Testing of Rising Stem Valves Equipped with Graphite Packing for Fugitive Emissions
API 641: Type Testing of Quarter-turn Valves for Fugitive Emissions