mPACT2WO, a Molex business, today announced AirCompliance, a groundbreaking, end-to-end leak detection solution that systemizes an Alternative Means of Emission Limitation (AMEL) as approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is a result of a multi-year collaboration between Molex, the EPA and Flint Hills Resources (FHR) to innovate a fixed, continuous detection mechanism as an alternative to existing manual component-by-component periodic EPA Method 21 monitoring requirements.
“Based on our innovative technology, Molex’s AirCompliance is designed to be a holistic solution for expansion beyond LDAR applications to additional emissions monitoring use cases such as Fenceline, Tank farms, Process safety and other community-partnership activities.”
EPA Method 21 has been in place for over 40 years and the implementation of these requirements can be challenging due to the time-based and human-dependent approach. Emerging sensor technologies and state-of-the-art software approaches offer the potential to address the limitations in meeting existing Method 21 monitoring requirements. Other technology innovations have been tried but failed to gain wide-spread acceptance due to the siloed approach of technology-proofing in isolation of regulatory and industrial guidance.
In 2017, the EPA ORD CEMM, FHR, and Molex, LLC, a global electronics leader and connectivity innovator, initiated work under a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to explore new next generation emission measurement (NGEM) based detection techniques for refineries, petrochemical manufacturing, and other industrial facilities. The “LDAR Innovation CRADA”, (EPA #914-16), successfully developed and tested a first-of-its-kind leak detection sensor network (LDSN) that operates with specialized facility procedures defined in a detection response framework (DRF) to produce an integrated emission monitoring and documentation system. The LDSN-DRF system demonstrated improved fugitive emission detection and mitigation capability for select applications during pilot deployments in operating refineries and chemical manufacturing facilities.
“The three-way technology, regulatory and industry partnership shows the potential for successful development of innovative concept-to-compliance solutions. We value and appreciate the multi-year collaboration with EPA and FHR to ensure LDSN meets the regulatory and industry expectations. With the EPA AMEL approval framework, Molex AirCompliance LDSN solution will now enable a wide variety of industrial facilities to adopt an optimal alternative to their existing method 21 implementations,” said Krishna Uppuluri, Vice President and General Manager of mPACT2WO. “Based on our innovative technology, Molex’s AirCompliance is designed to be a holistic solution for expansion beyond LDAR applications to additional emissions monitoring use cases such as Fenceline, Tank farms, Process safety and other community-partnership activities.”
“At Flint Hills Resources, we are in constant pursuit of innovative methods to achieve superior outcomes for environmental compliance and operational excellence,” said Chip Hilarides, Vice President, Quality & Stewardship. “Our CRADA collaboration with Molex and the EPA shows the power of transformation when technology, regulatory and industrial innovations come together. This collaboration is part of our overall stewardship approach to continually reduce emissions, enhance safety, and drive operational efficiency.”
The EPA fact sheet also includes the following quote: “This AMEL will be a landmark use of continuous leak detection systems at a refinery. Continuous monitoring has the potential to detect leaks, especially large ones, much faster than the current practice of monitoring periodically using EPA Method 21. This potential reduction in large leaks alone would lead to less pollution and cleaner air for communities near these sites.”
Approved LDSN AMEL published in Federal Register:
About mPACT2WO, a Molex Business
mPACT2WO, a Molex business, helps industrial operators enhance their daily decisions with easy-to-adopt, operator-first digital solutions. The operator-first approach accelerates boots-on-the ground transformation to enhance operational efficiency, compliance and safety while reducing over-monitoring and over-maintenance. The solutions are enabled by NextGen sensors, intelligent data analytics, and operator-trusted insights with operator-familiar work processes. mPACT2WO solutions for emissions and corrosion monitoring helps industrial sites reduce emissions, enhance process safety, and avoid unexpected corrosion and unplanned maintenance. For more information, visit mpact2wo.com.
About Flint Hills Resources (FHR)
Flint Hills Resources is a leading refining company with operations primarily in the Midwest and Texas. Flint Hills operates the Pine Bend refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota and two refineries in Corpus Christi, TX with a combined crude oil processing capacity of more than 700,000 barrels per day. The company produces, markets and transports refined products including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, asphalt and heating oils. Flint Hills Resources also owns and/or operates more than 4,000 miles of pipelines that transport crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas liquids and chemicals that are delivered through a distribution system of more than 40 terminals throughout the Midwest and Texas.