Fugitive VOC-emissions measured at Oil Refineries in the Province of Västra Götaland in South West Sweden - a success story

This report describes the environmental trends that have been on the agenda of the Swedish oil refineries in recent years, specifically focusing on emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). In the case of oil refineries this is more or less also synonymous with hydrocarbons and in most cases VOC is synonymous with NMVOC (Nonmethane VOC). If methane is included this is clearly stated in the report.

The issue of VOC-emissions has been high on the agenda for the Swedish oil refineries since the mid 1980’s, when the first major discussions started on how to carry out measurements at the sites. Later the issue also has been raised for, among others, oil harbours and other main tank storage areas. The total crude oil throughput of the Swedish oil refining sites is about 20 million ton per year.

Today we have more than 15 years of measurement experience with the laser based DIAL-system (Differential Absorption Lidar). The system has been shown to be a very powerful tool in the measurement, as well in the combat, of the true VOC-emission.
Other systems have also been tested (DOAS, HAWK) but have been shown to be nonreliable in performance.

This report is written by Lennart Frisch, MD at the environmental consulting bureau Agenda Enviro AB, and is commissioned by the County Administration of Västra Götaland (former the Provincial Government of Göteborg and Bohus) and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The Author is fully responsible for the content in the report.
Gunnar Barrefors,
Department of environmental protection
County administration of Västra Götalands län