Guidelines for the design, installation and operation of petrol vapour emission controls at distribution terminals

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EI Publications

  • Published: October 2014
  • REF/ISBN: 9780852937181
  • Edition: 4th
  • Status: New

Concerns about the environmental and health effects of emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) have led to European legislation imposing emission controls on the principal man-made sources of NMVOCs, e.g. solvents and petrol-powered automobiles. In addition, Directive 94/63/EC mandates emission reductions during the distribution of petrol.

The reduction in emissions during the storage, loading, and off-loading of petrol is known as 'Stage 1' vapour control. Stage 1 is subdivided into:

  • Stage 1a: the control of emissions during the receipt, storage and loading of petrol at terminals, and
  • Stage 1b: the control of emissions during off-loading of road tankers into service station storage tanks.

European legislation has also been introduced to control emissions during the refuelling of automobiles. Directive 2009/126/EC mandates so-called ‘Stage 2’ controls which require modification of the petrol dispenser permitting the vapours displaced from the automobile fuel tank to be fed back to the filling station storage tanks. The abatement of refuelling emissions can also be undertaken, as is mandated in the USA, by using a larger version of the carbon canister system which is currently installed on-board the automobile to control fuel system evaporative losses.

These guidelines focus only on the design, operation and maintenance of vapour emission control systems at petrol distribution terminals, i.e. Stage 1a. The principles outlined may also be used at other sites, e.g. refinery off-sites, bulk liquid storage terminals, etc, although these may have their own additional specific considerations to be taken into account that are not addressed here.

These guidelines apply to vapour collection and control systems for petrol vapour. They may not be appropriate for the control of emissions from the storage or handling of other products.

Although the guidelines have been influenced by the need to comply with Directive 94/63/EC, it is the intent that they may be used wherever petrol vapour emission controls are to be installed. The guidelines have been written without reference to other legislation or local requirements which also have to be met in the installation and operation of control equipment.

Only single stage vapour recovery technologies are addressed in the guidelines. No guidance is given on the installation and operation of more complex multi-stage units designed to meet emission limits which are much more stringent than those required by the Directive.

For marine loading, the guidelines discuss primarily the on-shore vapour collection and control systems. For sea-going vessels the on-ship equipment requirements have been formulated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in MSC Circular 585 Standards for vapour emission control systems.

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