At the biennial Valve World Americas Expo & Conference, more than 3,500 valve enthusiasts showed up at the George R. Brown Convention Center to check out the industry’s latest technologies and solutions from valve manufacturers, primary product suppliers to the industry, as well as its top distributors.
The need to reduce the significant contribution valves make to fugitive emissions continues to be on the minds of industry professionals. It has been estimated that 60 percent of fugitive emissions are attributed to valves in the oil & gas refineries and chemical processing industries, and these emissions requirements continue to be driven down by regulations, improved test standards and new product development.
The recent API Standard 624 describes the requirements and acceptance criteria for fugitive emission type testing of rising and rising-rotating stem valves that are sealed with compression packing previously tested according to the API Standard 622 and qualified for fugitive emissions service.
The number of regulations, qualifications and safety concerns involved are numerous. API 624 specifies the test method required for each valve, and there is a suggested range of valves per each API classification (i.e. API 600, 602 etc) that need to be tested. This requires significant time, in some cases up to two weeks per valve.
Time is a big concern but not the only one. The bulk of fugitive emissions qualification testing in the US is done with methane gas, which dictates additional precautions, including specially designed test facilities and safety equipment. “Methane is more dangerous to work with than other test gases,” Chesterton’s Ron Frisard told us. “Testing has to be done in a controlled environment with proper protocols to ensure technician safety.”
There are several companies that can perform this fugitive emissions testing for certification. At Valve World Americas, one such company, United Valve based in Houston, Texas presented their fugitive emissions testing capability, highlighting their in-house test facilities to work with both methane and helium to a variety of test standards. The company can perform both production and design qualification testing in its facility.
Chesterton has in-house inspection and testing capabilities for valves that manufacturers are looking to get qualified to API 624 or ISO 15848-1 testing that is required before sending the products to the certified low emissions facility such as United Valve to test the valves requiring 3rd party certification.
Chesterton’s state-of-the-art valve testing facilities conduct both API and ISO test protocols for emissions performance for up to 12-inch diameter valves. Chesterton’s “open-air” VOC test facility provides state-of-the-art 100 percent methane emissions monitoring. A second inside facility comprised of three dedicated rooms is used to perform testing using non-volatile fluids and gases including water, steam, helium, and borated water. These tests are designed to simulate accelerated product life testing.
The 200 exhibitors and more than 3,500 attendees at Valve World Americas were also interested in The Valve Industry Outlook for 2015 and beyond, a presentation given by VMA President Bill Sandler. He reported modest industry growth expectations for 2015 based on the results of a recent survey of VMA members. Sandler reported the association had slightly amended its forecast for 2015, prepared early in the year. He expects U.S. valve shipments to be up 1.5 to 2.0 percent, compared to the originally forecast growth of 2.5 percent—primarily based on the unexpectedly low oil prices.
One of the most important events at the expo was a historic steering committee meeting to plan the first ever Pump Summit Americas Expo & Conference, scheduled for June 13-14, 2016 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
Sponsored by Pump Engineer, Pumpen Aktuell and Empowering Pumps, Pump Summit Americas offers a professional platform for pump experts from North and South America to expand their industry network and to stay informed about the latest technologies in the field of pumps and pumping systems.
Organizers KCI Corporation and Messe Düsseldorf Summit Americas aim to form a pump community across several industries. Along with oil & gas, the event will also welcome those from water & wastewater, chemical processing, mining, pulp & paper, petrochemical, power generation, industrial processing, food & beverage, and pharmaceutical. For more information about the event please visit: www.pumpsummitamericas.com
Running concurrent to and in the same location as Pump Summit Americas is the Fugitive Emissions Summit Americas. Sponsored by A.W. Chesterton Company®, Bray®, Crane®, and SAGE Environmental Consulting the event aims to bring together a community of end users, EPC’s, distributors, manufacturers, and suppliers for an exciting conference and exhibition that will help address the ever-changing world of fugitive emissions regulations and controls. For more information, please contact Sarah Schroer at firstname.lastname@example.org
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