What is Flare Optimization – Flares are used to the dispose safely of combustible gases and to avoid release to the environment of these gases through combustion/oxidation. All gas plants and oil refineries operate flares, which, in the majority of refineries, for instance, are used to burn gases in the case of a system upset. Older flare systems have a pilot flame that is burning continuously. This results in losses of natural gas. Also, this may lead to methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) losses to the environment if the pilot flame is extinguished.
Flare Optimization in Plants & Refineries | Energy Conservation
Modern flare pilot designs are more efficient using electronic ignition when the flare is needed, have sensors for flame detection and shut off the fuel gas, reducing methane emissions. These systems can reduce average natural gas use to below 47 MJ/hour.
The spark ignition systems use low electrical power, which can be supplied by photovoltaic (solar cell) system, making the whole system independent of an external power supply.
Various systems are marketed by a number of suppliers such as John Zink, for instance.
In many modern facilities nowadays, flare recovery units are installed, end-of-pipe, to recover high valuable products. These units use compressor and separation drums to recover liquid product and recycle it back to the process. Others are using absorbers to achieve the same target.