FLIR Systems has introduced its new GasFindIR infrared (IR) camera, described by the company as the first commercially viable infrared camera capable of detecting volatile organic compound (VOC) gas emissions.
Sources of VOCs include petrochemical facilities, natural gas pipelines, transfer stations, tankers, railway cars and landfills emitting methane gas and other toxic chemicals into the environment.
Often referred to as “fugitive gas emissions,” VOC gases are a major contributor to global warming. In addition, these emissions cost industry millions of dollars in lost product and in regulatory fines. They also pose safety risks to workers and civilians.
FLIR said in a statement that GasFindIR makes what was once invisible, visible, in order that the leakage can be easily identified and stopped. A typical refinery can have up to 500,000 points that currently have to be checked manually with a “sniffer” placed directly on the leak, which is an expensive and time consuming process.
“We are in the process of writing new regulations to take advantage of this new infrared camera,” commented David Markwordt, of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Emissions Standards Division while presenting at the recent annual Fugitive Emissions conference.