While flare systems may seem complicated, being informed about them will go a long way when it comes to helping you understand them. Now, you may be wondering where to start when it comes to flare systems. From our experience, it’s best to begin with flare types. If this is something that you’re interested in learning more about, read on as we break down everything you need to know about flare system types.

Steam Assisted Flares

A steam-assisted flare is a type of flare that is elevated above ground level and burns vented gas in a diffusion flame. Steam is injected into the combustion zone to promote turbulence for mixing and to induce air into the flame. This type of flare is less common at oil production sites because such facilities generally do not install steam boilers.

Air Assisted Flares

An air-assisted flare is a type of flare that uses a fan to force air into the flare, providing the combustion air and mixing required for smokeless operation. Air-assisted flares are often built with a spider-shaped burner located inside but near the top of a steel cylinder, however, they can come in sizes as small as 2 to 3 inches in diameter and as large as 7 to 10 feet in diameter. The fan is located in the bottom of the flare and directs air through an annulus or tubes within the flare stack to the flare tip. This design improves mixing and reduces soot formation. The amount of combustion air can be varied by changing the fan speed. The main advantage of air-assisted flares is that they can be used where steam is not available. However, one disadvantage is that they require electricity to power the blower/fan.

Non-Assisted Flares

A non-assisted flare is a type of flare that does not have any additional features to help mix air into the flame. This type of flare is only used for gas streams that are easy to burn and do not produce smoke. These types of gas streams do not require a lot of air for complete combustion, have lower combustion temperatures, and are more resistant to cracking.

Pressure Assisted Flares

A pressure-assisted flare uses the pressure of the gas stream to promote mixing at the burner tip, which can help the flare to operate more efficiently and with less smoke. These flares can be elevated or at ground level, and may have multiple burner heads that can be staged to operate based on the gas flow. They are often used in industrial settings as emergency release flares, and are located in a remote area with plenty of space and surrounded by a radiant heat fence.


We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you gain a better understanding of flare systems. While it may seem complicated at first, the information that we’ve laid out here should be enough to give you the foundational knowledge that you need. Feel free to refer back to this article if you need help with flare systems.

If you need help with flare systems, then you’ve come to the right place. Liberty Flare, LLC is a specialty contractor providing maintenance, repair, inspection, installation, and design services on industrial flares and vent stacks. For more information, visit our website today!