A new way to reduce fugitive emissions
By Jack Burke19 September 2023
Celeros Flow Technology’s valve packing system
Celeros Flow Technology said its new CFT-Green Valve Packing System reduces fugitive emissions across pipelines and provides a safe and efficient sealing solution for valves.
Engineers in the oil and gas, chemical, and power generation industries can now increase safety across their facilities and pipeline networks, the company said.
Methane emissions occur in all sectors of the natural gas industry, from production, through processing and transmission, to distribution. They primarily result from normal operations and also routine maintenance. But they can also come from fugitive leaks and other unplanned problems.
Fugitive emissions occur when a valve leaks, and gases or liquids are released into the surrounding environment. It is critical to protect against fugitive emissions because they could have devastating consequences on the environment through the release of harmful pollutants, as well as posing a health and safety risk to people from the risk of explosion, according to Celeros. Additionally, they could potentially cost an operator millions of dollars in lost product, fines and clean-up operations.
The CFT-Green Valve Packing System is based on what the company calls a unique stem spring loaded seal mechanism designed to provide superior performance and offer outstanding reliability with minimal maintenance. As a result, the solution enables users to minimize emissions, and thus reduce the risk of environmental damage, while improving safety.
“Traditionally, stationary loading packing seal solutions are used to control fugitive emissions, but this type of packing needs frequent maintenance and adjustment as the packing gradually wears and fatigues,” said Eduardo Zani, Service Operations Director - Valves.
The spring in CFT-Green exerts constant and reliable pressure on the sealing element, ensuring a tight and robust seal even under extreme conditions, and the force from the spring helps to maintain the correct levels of compression throughout the seal’s long lifetime, the company said. This is a vast improvement compared with conventional packing, which suffers from loss of torque over time, resulting in process fluid leakage.
In the industry, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has announced a new rule to demand the detection and repair of leaks from gas pipelines.
Among other steps, it would require reducing the volume of gas released due to unintentional emissions like leaks and equipment failures and revise the reporting minimum threshold to detect smaller leaks sooner.
This next-generation spring seal provides reliability over a long lifetime, as the packing materials have been carefully selected for their resistance to high temperatures and pressures as well as their ability to withstand harsh environments and corrosive fluids, the company said
“Another major benefit of the CFT-Green compared to conventional seal systems is that it can accommodate slight misalignments in the valve stem or body, reducing the likelihood of leaks even further,” Zani said . This can help to prevent leaks and further reduce the need for frequent maintenance or repair of the valve, ultimately improving uptime.
Also, no packing tightness intervention is required throughout the seal’s lifecycle and most of the Celeros FT installed base of valves can be easily retrofitted. This self-adjusting packing is suited for critical or frequently cycled applications, as well as for valves that are not used for extended periods of time in remote and inaccessible locations, the company said.
The CFT-Green can be used in all industrial pipeline applications in oil and gas production, chemical processing, and power generation and is available in a range of sizes to meet the needs of a specific application.
Celeros Flow Technology is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. and was spun out of the SPX FLOW Group. It serves the oil & gas, power, chemical processing, water treatment and marine industries. Its technology is deployed all over the world in pipeline infrastructure.