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Investigation on Detection of COV Based on Infrared Camera

[+] Author Affiliations
Benjamin Thomas, Emmanuel Sauger, Sébastien Fily, Hubert Lejeune

CETIM, Nantes, France

Paper No. PVP2012-78291, pp. 223-229; 7 pages
  • ASME 2012 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 2: Computer Technology and Bolted Joints
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada, July 15–19, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5501-0
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


In order to reduce emission of pollutants, regulations such as Clean Air Act in the United States of America or the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) and the Industrial Emission Directive (IED) in Europe have been voted. On sites like refineries, the end users have implemented systematic control of Volatile Organic Compounds (COV) in the atmosphere, on their equipments (valves, flanges, pump, compressor…).

These controls involve methods of detection such as sniffing with a Flame Ionization Detector (FID) managed by an operator according to EPA21 method. This method is time-consuming and exposes operators to hazardous situations when statistical counting shows that the global emission are often connected with few equipments in refineries. Thus, the use of specific IR imaging with a camera as a remote control method sensible to selected organic gases seems a very attractive alternative, even if this method does not able to quantify very accurate leakage rates.

This study presented here investigates the influence of several parameters on the detection of COV with IR camera, under controlled laboratory conditions. External parameters such as distance of view, type of gas, wind, and camera configuration parameters are investigated.

The measurement enables definition of the limits of the IR imaging method. If the study shows that the camera must be operated by skilled and trained personal to camera tuning and image analyzing, it remains a very interesting alternative method to sniffing in many cases. The next step of the study will involve the use of the camera on various kind of sites using organic gases.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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