USEPA Flux Chamber Technology Used to Measure Air Emissions from Various Area Sources Commonly Found on Petroleum Sites Including Lagoons, Pits, Wells, Channels, Tanks, and Contaminated Soils

The area sources found at petroleum sites typically include tanks (aerated and non-aerated, uncovered, and covered- floating roof; photo 1 and 2), channels (photo 3), clarifier tanks, dissolved air flotation units (photo 4), wells (photo 5), and liquid waste treatment lagoons (photo 6).  It may also include assessment of soils around tanks and pipelines (photo 7).  The site assessment of area sources found at petroleum refining sites, petroleum terminals, and pipeline sites are very similar to other industries, including the chemical manufacturing industry and the pulp and paper industry.  These sites have aerated (photo 8) and non-aerated (photo 9) liquid waste treatment unit process that usually have low-level emissions of compounds emitted from other sources on site.

This means that the compounds that are the focus of the air emissions from the liquid treatment processes may have an upwind ambient air component.  As such, the USEPA flux chamber technology is ideal for these area source assessment since the flux chamber isolates the emitting surface from the ambient air thus avoiding any affect from an upwind source.  Compounds of concern from petroleum processing and handling sites typically include saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbon compounds, aromatic compounds, and most often and in particular BTEX compounds- benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylenes.

Reduced sulfur compounds and odor are often included in these studies.  Accessing test locations on unit process at refineries and processing centers is usually facilitated by suspending the flux chamber from overhead structure or guardrails around processes and tanks.  Suspending the USEPA flux chamber from overhead structure is always preferred since this approach affords complete control of the chamber placement on the source.  Performing assessments of processes under aeration requires assessment of the advective flow into the flux chamber, which is a significant component of the flux from these types of unit processes.

Studies of air emissions from petroleum handling and processing sites have been successfully conducted using the USEPA flux chamber technology.  These data have been used to generate air emission estimates from area source unit processes, and complete site assessment inventories, and are used along with other information, to generate site-specific models for facility use and compliance.

flux chamber measuring emissions
Photo 1- Using the Flux Chamber to Measure the Emissions from An Uncovered Petroleum Tank

flux chamber adapted fugitive emissions
Photo 2- Flux Chamber Adapted to Measure Fugitive Emissions from Seal on Floating Roof Tank

flux chamber measurement wastewater
Photo 3- Flux Chamber Measurement on Wastewater Channel

emission assessment daf tank
Photo 4- Emission Assessment of Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) Tank

flux chamber testing wastewater well
Photo 5- Flux Chamber Testing in Wastewater Well

flux chamber testing wastewater treatment
Photo 6- Flux Chamber Testing on Petroleum Wastewater Treatment Lagoon

measuring pipeline emissions
Photo 7- Measuring Emissions Around Pipelines and Tanks

flux chamber testing aerated liquid treatment
Photo 8- Flux Chamber Testing on Aerated Liquid Treatment Tank at Petroleum Site

flux chamber suspension treatment tank
Photo 9- Flux Chamber Suspension Over Treatment Tank by Cable