Limiting leakage of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from valves is a business imperative for chemical manufacturers. Process plants must curb such emissions to comply with increasingly stringent regulations, and to protect workers, communities and the environment as well as the company’s bottom line and reputation.
A recent report by the United Nations notes that, by the year 2020, the acceptable level of emissions of VOCs will have been reduced by 95% since 1990 — and that more than 60% of fugitive emissions worldwide emanate from valves.
The task of complying with applicable standards can prove challenging. However, several steps can ensure the highest degree of protection from fugitive emissions: evaluating external leak paths such as the valve stem and body joints, and implementing onsite compliance measures. This article will explore these considerations and how they affect valve selection.