A flare is a safety device that burns excess hydrocarbon gases which cannot be processed. Excess hydrocarbon gases are flared as an alternative to releasing the vapours directly into the atmosphere. If left unburnt, these excess gases could accumulate and form a concentrated flammable vapour cloud.
Flaring can occur in the following situations:
During unplanned operational interruptions or emergencies when the gases must be immediately depressurised from the process to avoid overpressure and damage to equipment which could cause the release of hydrocarbon gases into the atmosphere.
For safe start up and shutdown of refineries and chemical plants when gases generated during these processes cannot be safely channelled back into the refineries' and chemical plants' processes or storage tanks.
Flares can be:
Elevated (large discharge of wide range gas release with visible flame and radiation impact):
Ground (emergency gas release with reduced luminusity and radiation):
Multipoint burner staged MGFEN (emergency flaring gases from low to elevated flowrates).
Enclosed (at nominal rate with proper combustion chamber sizing and air distribution):
No temperature controlled NTCGF (at nominal rate with proper combustion chamber sizing and air distribution).
Temperature controlled TCGF (similar to incineration technology).
Burn pits (emergency discharge of gas-liquid mixtures).