Results of the Application of a New Laser Based Open-Path Spectrometer for the Measurement of Fugitive Emissions From Gas Processing Plants

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Abstract
In this paper, we present results from field studies of the application of a new laser based spectrometer incorporated with real-time dispersion modeling techniques to measure fugitive emissions from gas processing facilities. While open-path FTIR spectrometers can measure a variety of gaseous species, they suffer from the drawbacks of being large, expensive and of limited range. Also, uncertainty in results caused by spectral overlap has been a matter of concern to regulatory organizations. The laser spectrometer described in this paper is a small, portable device based on readily available telecommunications technology. The instrument is tuned to a specific absorption line for a specific gas (CH4, H2S, CO2, HF, HCN, NH3), and as a result is immune from line competition. Typical detection sensitivity of <1ppm over path lengths in excess of several hundred metres is observed. In conjunction with this new laser spectrometer, a variety of dispersion modeling techniques are employed to estimate the fugitive emission rates from a gas processing plant. We have demonstrated the effectiveness of this method in field simulations and at actual operating natural gas facilities.

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