Are there alternatives to an expensive overhaul of a bottlenecked flare system?

Detlef Gruber and Dietmar-Uwe Leipnitz (BP Lingen Refinery), Prasad Sethuraman (BP Refining Technology), Miquel Àngel Alós, José María Nougués and Michael Brodkorb (Inprocess)

2010. Petroleum Technology Quarterly (PTQ), January, pages: 93-95

There are different situations in which it is necessary to re-evaluate the capacity of a site’s existing flare system. In general, this is necessary following a potential increase in flare load, e.g. when:

  • Relief Valves that currently blow to air and that need to be connected to the flare header,
  • Changes in regulation that redefine the scenarios for which the flare system has to be designed,
  • New plants that are connected to the existing flare header, or
  • Throughput increase / revamps of existing plants that might increase the flare load through higher hold-up or higher heat load.

In this article, the authors give an overview of the advantages of the approach of using dynamic simulation to calculate flare loads following API 521, give guidance on when and where to apply it, and describe a case study of a recent study at BP’s Lingen refinery in Germany.

Are there alternatives to an expensive overhaul of a bottleneckec flare system?