Extrel Experts Blog

Flare Compliance at Oil Refineries

By Chuck DeCarlo, Business Development & Marketing Manager, Extrel

August 2021

At the 4C Conference in Austin, TX, Chuck DeCarlo  presented some Advanced Solutions for Flare Gas Analysis.  During the presentation, Chuck detailed how companies can maintain full compliance with one analyzer, provide real-time protection from flare violations, save on steam and fuel gas consumption, and omit using deadly H2S calibration gases required at oil refineries.

According to new requirements in the General Provisions, flares used as Air Pollution Control Devices (APCD) are expected to achieve 98% Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) destruction efficiencies. These updated requirements include monitoring of the pilot flame, visible emissions, flare tip velocity, net heating values, and dilution parameters, as well as maintaining a Flare Management Plan and a Continuous Parameter Monitoring System Plan.

The Net Heating Value of the gas in the Combustion Zone (NHVCZ) is of particular importance as it has a direct impact on combustion efficiency. As a result, the RSR update mandates a NHVCZ ≥ 270 Btu/scf, based on a 15-minute block average, when regulated material is sent to the flare for at least 15 minutes. For flares actively receiving perimeter assist air, NHVdil must be greater than or equal to 22 Btu/ft2, when regulated material is sent to the flare. To meet this requirement, continuous direct measurements of refinery vent gas must be made. High variability, sulfur content, and corrosivity can make these samples difficult for many analytical techniques.

The Extrel MAX300-RTG real-time gas analyzer is currently used at many US refineries for NSPS Subpart Ja sulfur monitoring. The analyzer measures the full, speciated composition of the flare gas and delivers continuous updates of NHV, H2S, and Total Sulfur several times per minute.  Rapid updates of NHV are critical for compliance because the refinery must be able to both monitor and control the gases at the flare tip within the regulated 15-minute block. The additional information provided by full speciation can be used at RSR sites for Ja sulfur compliance, validating or replacing existing sulfur analyzers, as well as for operational control and accurate root cause analysis.

The regulation provides multiple ways to calculate the   Net Heating Value of the gas in the Combustions Zone (NHVCZ) for RSR reporting, but all methods use the Net Heating Value of the Vent Gas (NHVVG) as an input. In fact, several parameters, including NHVCZ, NHVdil, and each flare’s specific maximum tip velocity (Vmax), are determined based on NHVVG, making this value one of the key components of reporting compliance and effective flare control. Direct measurements of vent gas composition can be used to calculate NHVVG and high precision gas analysis ensures accurate, actionable NHVVG data.  When regulated material is sent to the flare, NHVVG changes dramatically as hydrogen and hydrocarbon concentrations in the stream spike and recede. Regardless of the BTU content of the sample, the MAX300-RTG maintains constant, high precision on the NHV parameter due to the inherent repeatability of the gas analysis.

New Power Supply Available – 440 khz QPS

By Chuck DeCarlo, Business Development & Marketing Manager, Extrel

May 2021

Selecting a power supply depends on many factors.  Choosing a power supply best suited for your application can be a challenge.  There are many considerations: cost, physical size, mass range, sensitivity, abundance sensitivity, resolution, and transmission.  Most importantly the power supply must suit your application and requirements in all aspects.

Extrel 440 QPS Power SupplyThe Extrel Quadrupole Power Supply QPS is an ideal choice when you need a high precision, stable control, and power your Quadrupole Mass Filters, Octupoles and Hexapole Ion Guides and Collision Cells​.  It provides more stable, high resolution data across a wider sweeping range. Also, it enables measurements with accuracy without additional tools.

  • Maximize your performance and savings
  • Easy configuration
  • Faster project completion​
  • Gain confidence in your results
  • Flexible and adaptable to multiple types of setups​
  • Zero peak drift for stable, repeatable analysis and less calibration​
  • Ultra-high throughput for maximum ion transmission​

What You Should Know About Extrel

By Chuck DeCarlo, Business Development & Marketing Manager, Extrel

April 2021

Over 50 years ago, two professors changed the landscape of mass spectrometry by developing innovative RF and DC power supplies. Their discoveries became the foundation of Extrel – the world’s leading manufacturer of state-of-the-art research and process mass spectrometers, residual gas analyzers, and quadrupole mass spectrometry components.

Since 1964, our instrumentation and solutions have been recognized for their exceptional performance, reliability, and flexibility, and are complemented by the most comprehensive application, technical and on-site support in the industry.  Used by today’s leading researchers from individual components to fit-for-purpose all-in-one systems and have been applied in both research and industry – used by Nobel Laureates and thousands of others in a variety of applications worldwide.

As part of the Process Insights portfolio, we join leading technologies and solutions providers that deliver innovative and differentiated analysis and measurement solutions that add real value to our customers.


Process Insight’ is committed to developing innovation that make our lives better and protects the environment.

The Process Insights Portfolio:

Process Insights is backed by Union Park Capital, a private equity investment firm based in Boston, MA and focused solely on lower middle-market industrial technology companies.

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