Most people are familiar with the concept of gas flaring, but there are still many misconceptions about this process. In this article, we’ll discuss some things you should know about gas flaring.
What Is Gas Flaring?
Gas flaring is the burning of unwanted natural gas. The gas is typically flared during the oil and gas extraction process when it is released as a waste product.
Flaring is typically carried out at well sites, gas processing and petrochemical plants, and refineries.
There are several reasons why gas flaring takes place:
- To relieve pressure on equipment
- To prevent the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere
- To dispose of unwanted gas
- To produce light
What Is the Chemical Composition of Flare Gas?
Flare gas is a by-product of the oil and gas industry. It contains various hydrocarbon gasses, including methane, propane, butane, and ethane. These gasses are produced during refining and are typically burned off or flared.
The chemical composition of flare gas can vary depending on the type of oil and gas being processed. However, the composition typically comprises light hydrocarbons, including methane, ethane, propane, and butane. These gasses generally are burned off or flared due to their low energy content.
While the burning of flare gas is not ideal, it’s often the safest and most environmentally friendly option.
Why Is Gas Flaring Still Done Today?
Even though gas flaring has been banned in many countries, it is still a common practice in many parts of the world. There are several reasons gas flaring is still done today, including the fact that it’s a cheaper and easier way to dispose of waste gas and that many countries do not have the infrastructure to deal with it properly.
Gas flaring is also still done because it is a way to increase the efficiency of oil production. When gas is flared, it releases energy that can be used to power oil production. Less oil needs to be transported, saving money and reducing emissions.
Facts to Know About Flaring
- The poles with a flame you usually see in industrial sites are called flare stacks. A flare stack is a tall, thin structure that is used to burn off waste or other unwanted gases. The stack has flames or steam coming out of the top and is often located at industrial sites.
- Flaring releases gas into the atmosphere from industrial facilities, like oil refineries and natural gas processing plants. The gas is burned off or combusted in a process that removes harmful pollutants into the air. These pollutants include carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter.
- One common misconception is that flaring is always bad for the environment. While flaring can release harmful pollutants into the air, it’s not always the case. In many cases, flaring is actually the safest and most environmentally-friendly option. It is beneficial in some cases, as it can help to prevent the release of harmful pollutants into the environment.
- Routine flaring can be reduced by using the gas instead of burning it. It allows operators to produce more energy and capture carbon emissions. Today’s technology will enable operators to monitor and measure combustion efficiency in real-time, meaning they can reduce the carbon emissions released by flares.
With flare optimization solutions, facilities can operate at 96% efficiency or higher, cutting up to 12,100 metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions per flare annually.
Gas flaring can have both positive and negative impacts. It can help to generate electricity and provide income for countries and companies, but it may also have some environmental effects. Ultimately, whether or not to flare gas will depend on the specific situation and context in which it occurs.
Liberty Flare, LLC is the perfect company to trust for all your flare system rental needs, whether you need it for a short-term or long-term application. We have a basic fleet of rental equipment, including a flare stack, ignition system, ground plates and weights, and other ancillary equipment. But if you need something more specific or custom-designed, we also work with other industry leaders to get you exactly what you need. Contact us today!