LDAR

LDAR

LDAR

is the abbreviation for the English name of a program to detect leaks in industrial installations used for the production, transmission and storage of organic substances: Leak Detection And Repair. It has been developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to monitor and control industrial leaks. The European Commission is planning to introduce LDAR method to the content of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) in the scope of monitoring of fugitive emissions to air from the chemical and petrochemical installations.

In European legislation, monitoring requirements are introduced by the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions. Monitoring is carried out in accordance with CEN standards or in accordance with ISO standards (Art. 70).

The directive requires operators of installations, including installations using organic solvents, to conduct and monitor installations in accordance with the requirements of the so-called BAT Conclusions (Art. 16).

 BAT Conclusions are issued in the form of implementing decisions of the European Commission. The first BAT Conclusions, containing a requirement to monitor fugitive emissions, were issued for industry: refining oil and gas (Decision 2014/738/EU dated 9 October 2014). The decision requires, including:

BAT 6. Under BAT, diffuse emissions of VOCs into the air should be monitored throughout the facility, including: using the optical imaging technique for gases;

BAT 18. In order to prevent diffuse emissions of VOCs or to reduce them, the following technologies should be used under BAT for the exploitation of the facility: using a program to detect and repair leaks based on a risk analysis (LDAR) to identify leaking components and remove leaks.

Description of the techniques for preventing emissions into the air and their control lists the LDAR program the implementation of which uses e.g. the method of optical gas imaging (Optical Gas Imaging).

On 9 October 2014, the European Commission issued an Implementing Decision establishing conclusions on the best available techniques (BAT) for refining oil and gas in accordance with the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions.

The conclusions, in the section on integrated management of refineries, aimed at preventing and reducing diffuse emissions of VOCs ordered the use of, among others, a leak detection and repair program (LDAR).

The required monitoring of fugitive VOC emissions includes the sniffing method using FID or PID analyzers, the use of mathematical correlation curves or the methods of optical gas imaging (OGI).

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Implementation of the system can detect leaks, which can result in tangible benefits to operators of installations, as  it:

• reduces the loss of raw materials and products,

• reduces the potential of an industrial accident, associated with the uncontrolled extraction of substances of toxicological, flammable, explosive or odorous character,

• minimizes the emission of chemicals to the environment and enables a reliable assessment of fugitive emissions, particularly in the air,

• reduces the impact of the installation on the atmosphere and reduces the cost of using the environment,

• optimizes the cost of repairs and replacement of fittings,

• allows to control the quality of the repair and modernization in the scope of leak-tightness.

The European Commission is planning to introduce LDAR method to the content of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) in the scope of monitoring of fugitive emissions to air from the chemical and petrochemical installations, as well as industrial animal husbandry.

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