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Comment Environment, Health, Safety & Security

VOC Emission Controls For the CPI

By Thomas F. McGowan, TMTS Associates and Joseph J. Santoleri, J. Santoleri Associa |

    Why do governmental bodies regulate VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions? Because these compounds react with nitrogen oxides to produce ground-level ozone. VOC emissions have many names: hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), non-condensable gases (NCGs), or just plain “organic vapors.” Examples of such emissions in the chemical process industries (CPI) include gasoline and diesel fumes from tanker truck loading, formaldehyde from processes and manufacturing, solvent emissions, high concentration fumes from chemical processes, reactors, and over-pressure vents and NCGs from processes such as pulp-mill digester gas. Table 1 contains a few process descriptions, their compositions and concentrations as an illustration. More detail on fumes and fume controls can be found in Ref. [1–5].   REGULATIONS AND COMPLIANCE There are myriad EPA and state regulations in the U.S. regarding VOCs. Many are now industry specific, such as maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards. Others are tied to local air quality status, using gross limits, such as 100 tons/yr of emissions in an air attainment area. HAP (hazardous air pollutant) emissions are limited to 10 tons/yr of a single compound or 25 tons/yr…
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