Emerson's expertise helps companies achieve Environmental Sustainability Goals

Emerson Automation Solutions
Saturday, 01 October, 2022


Companies of today are under increasing pressure to ensure proper Emissions Management in order to achieve Environmental Sustainability Goals. Regulatory compliance, consumer demand and pressure from financial investors are the key drivers in decarbonization and environmental sustainability strategies. For industrial companies, a sustainability strategy is now a matter of long-term survival, encouraging future development and investment in the business. Reducing the carbon footprint and emission levels is the ultimate goal of most sustainability initiatives. To achieve ambitious targets, far-sighted strategies must address operational improvement, greater energy efficiency, low carbon electrification, clean fuels, and emissions management and capture.

Reducing emissions

Manufacturers and processing companies have an opportunity to make significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through the use of renewable energy sources, together with optimized operations that increase efficiency and lower energy consumption. Through enhanced emissions management, fugitive emissions of harmful gases can also be reduced, ensuring compliance with current environmental legislation and regulations.

Emissions typically come from boilers, gas turbines, diesel engines and flaring, but also through continuous process media leakage from pipelines, tanks or devices. The two main categories of emissions are Greenhouse Gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane) and Fugitive Emissions (such as SOx, NOx and dusts).

Regulatory compliance

As environmental regulations across the globe change at a rapid pace, companies need to do more than simply adapt to survive. Not only must they keep up with regulations, they also need to develop a roadmap and seek proactive and predictive methods for reducing emissions to ensure compliance to future commitments. The need to meet or exceed environmental regulations requires expertise and knowledge to understand the next steps to take. National and regional regulations can vary significantly and be very challenging to navigate.

Challenges of reducing emissions

When looking to make improvements, a key challenge is the limited capital expenditure budget available to upgrade operations and fund projects, especially given today’s volatile and uncertain global economy. This creates significant pressure on an organization to select the right strategy or project to ensure the greatest return in terms of reduced emissions. A key consideration is the impact on normal operations and lost income as a result of implementing changes. Another prohibitive factor can be outdated assets and technology that are either root causes of emissions or prevent monitoring and subsequent improvements.

Generally, the first steps in Emissions Management are:

  • Detecting and identifying the main sources of emissions
  • Developing a plan and investing resources in tackling the most problematic areas
  • Evaluating the gap between the organization’s baseline and objectives
  • Establishing a roadmap and seeking the right technology partner to align to these goals, identifying possible solutions and evaluating their quantified implementation outcomes
  • Documenting and demonstrating compliance with the regulations pertaining to the organization’s industry and region

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

The majority of greenhouse gas emissions from an industrial facility come from boilers. There is a need to focus on optimization of the combustion processes and emissions reporting. Combustion measurement solutions help to optimize combustion control by minimizing fuel and excess air requirements. This can result in greater fuel efficiency, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and significant operational savings. When it comes to the oil and gas industry, it is essential to develop a strong flare management plan. Advanced monitoring and analysis technologies help to quickly identify the source of a release, provide a fast BTU measurement to comply with increased monitoring frequency and deliver the information needed to be compliant.

Reducing continuous fugitive emissions

Continuous fugitive emissions result from plant infrastructure, such as isolation, control and relief valves, tanks, flanges and pumps. These leaks, which are due to incorrect sizing, configuration, installation and maintenance, can be very difficult to detect due to ambient conditions and large areas to monitor relatively small quantities, but when aggregated become the greatest contributors to overall emissions. Without regular monitoring or inspection, these leaks can often go undetected over time until they become problematic and possibly even dangerous.

Modern valves are fugitive emissions compliant by design, with high levels of tightness and durability. Correct selection, sizing and lifecycle maintenance contributes to lower emissions. Smart technology, such as intelligent valve positioners and acoustic wireless sensors, enables monitoring and reporting of short duration upsets that can lead to small and/or unnoticed emissions.

How Emerson can help

Emerson has extensive experience supporting decarbonization and environmental sustainability strategies. By working with its consultants, companies can launch an enterprise-wide program to save energy and reduce emissions that meets and exceeds their corporate sustainability commitments. Emerson’s data monitoring and control technology, understanding of current regulations and lifecycle services help in planning and implementing clients’ emissions reduction roadmap. With access to a complete line of automated solutions and resources that help to eliminate the root causes of emissions, clients can implement a customized emissions control program that meets regulations and protects the environment.

Emerson is able to:

  • Determine clients’ needs and desired outcomes
  • Identify best and most immediate opportunities for investment
  • Create a roadmap of potential solutions integrated with their strategic plan to achieve full regulatory compliance
  • Develop an over-arching emissions program management plan
  • Define measurement strategies and select appropriate technology
  • Leverage shutdowns and planned outages to implement emission-reducing solutions

Download E-Book: Emissions Management Provides a Path to Achieving Environmental Sustainability Goals (emersonautomation.com)

Image credit: iStock.com/PetrBonek

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