The environmental protection agency (EPA) has been concerned with the increasing amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC) being created during various phases of oil and gas production and storage. Fortunately, currently available technology can destroy 99.9% of this pollution. To help protect the planet and human life, the EPA has set a nationwide standard which mandates that these harmful emissions be destroyed rather than released into the atmosphere.
Specifically, the EPA regulation 40 CFR 60, Subpart OOOO requires at least 95% smokeless destruction and removal efficiency (DRE) of the hazardous air pollutants (HAP). The industry refers to this new mandate as "Quad O" due to the technical name having 4 O’s.
Organizations in the oil and gas industry which create VOC emissions are required to be compliant with Quad O standards or face heavy fines. The EPA maintains a list of approved emissions control devices (ECD) which may be used to achieve Quad O compliance.
The VOCinerator™ is a free-standing, completely enclosed combustion unit that destroys an amazing 99.9% of BTEX and VOC emissions, while drastically reducing harmful NOx emissions. In addition, patented technology enables smokeless operation while preventing flares and liquid upsets. The VOCinerator™ Combustion Unit has been engineered to withstand 100 mph winds and is Class 1, Div 1 capable. Each VOCinerator™ Combustor has the option of fully-automated controls. The automation, in combination with the engineered, patented design, allows the VOCinerator™ Combustor to keep functioning efficiently and effectively even when small amounts of liquids are introduced.
The EPA has indicated that DRE standards will be increasing to 98%. VOCinerator™ Combustion Units have a maximum capable DRE rate of 99.9%. Purchasing VOCinerator™ combustors today protects your company from future EPA required adjustments.
The efficiency, reliability and durability of the VOCinerator™ Combustion Unit means a lower overall lifetime cost than other available emissions elimination products. Quite simply, the MESSCO VOCinerator™ Combustor is the best emissions control unit available.
MESSCO is proud to have the industry's lowest failure rate. In fact, the 2nd generation VOCinerator™ Combustor has achieved an industry record with ZERO failures due to uncontrolled flame or liquid upsets. Our patented technology is responsible for this outstanding success. Because MESSCO combustors are highly reliable, maintenance and replacement costs are minimized. In fact, installation of a MESSCO combustion unit reduces the total cost of ownership for MESSCO customers.
An emissions control device can achieve Quad-O approval after a certified agency tests the device at the manufacturer’s facility according to strict federal regulations. An EPA approved Quad-O emission control device (ECD) must achieve 95% smokeless destruction of all VOC created in the oil and gas production and storage process.
Following third party testing, the EPA rigorously reviews the agency report to verify the appropriate test methods and exact protocol gases were utilized per exacting specifications.
Only manufacturers supplying EPA 40 CFR 60, Subpart OOOO approved emission control devices have passed this mandatory testing. Purchasing an EPA approved emission control device ensures that you are compliant with new Federal Air Quality Regulations.
As of April 15, 2014, the first phase of Quad-O compliance is in effect. If you have a storage or containment vessel that was constructed or reconditioned after April 12, 2013, and your organization is responsible for over 6 tons of annual VOC emissions, then you are currently required to comply with the US EPA Quad-O regulations. If your storage or containment vessel was constructed or reconditioned between August 23, 2011 - April 12, 2013, then you must be compliant by April 15, 2015.
Glycol Dehydrators: Quad O regulations specifically apply to Glycol Dehydrators with the potential to emit 10 TPY or more of a single HAP, or 25 TPY or more of a combination of HAPs.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s latest iteration of air pollution standards for the oil and natural gas industry is published as 40 CFR 60, Subpart OOOO, or in simpler terms, Quad O.
It is a small component of Title 40, Protection of the Environment, found in the Code of Federal Regulations.
Title 40 pertains to all environmental regulations. Part 60 outlines the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for air polluting sources. Subpart OOOO is specifically the performance standards for the production, distribution, and transmission of natural gas and crude oil.
Quad O applies to facilities with the potential to emit over 6 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) a year.
The latest revision to the Clean Air Act by the EPA regulates the emission of hazardous air pollutants, BTEX, volatile organic compounds, and sulfur dioxide by storage vessels, compressors, and glycol dehydrators used in the oil and natural gas industries.
The regulated pollutants, originating at sources listed below, contain countless greenhouse gases, irritants, and carcinogenic chemicals which generate permanent damage to our environment and public health. Failure to prevent these pollutants from entering the atmosphere now brings federal punishment of up to 5 years and/or fines up to $25,000/day per location. Fortunately the approved technology to comply exists.
For years, MESSCO has produced patented emission control devices, trademarked as VOCinerator™, which ensure smokeless destruction of volatile organic compounds and BTEX with an efficiency of 99.9%. The VOCinerator™ has become the industry leading combustion unit for a number of natural gas and oil production applications. Most recently, this combustor passed the rigorous testing process established by the EPA making it easy for producers to comply with Quad O and 40 CFR 63 subpart HH and HHH.
The EPA made many changes in the regulations originally written regarding timelines, equipment requiring emissions control devices, and levels of pollutants to regulate. These changes were made to enable the oil and gas industry to be compliant with less inconvenience. Unfortunately, this has created some confusion regarding actual compliance.
Following is an up to date list of equipment, as of May 2014, which will require emissions control devices according to 40 CFR part 60 and 63:
- Limit Benzene emissions to 0.9 megagrams per year.
- Eliminate hazardous air pollutants with an efficiency of 95% or greater
Small glycol dehydrators (having a flow rate less than 85 standard cubic meters of natural gas per day) must:
- Limit BTEX emissions according to the following formula below if construction began before August 23, 2011.
- Limit BTEX emissions according to the formula below if construction began after August 23, 2011.
Storage Vessels or Centrifugal Compressors with a potential to emit over 6 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) a year must be connected to an emission control device or a series of emission control devices using a closed vent system with no detectable emissions for at least 95% of the year. Each emission control device is to be tested monthly no closer than 15 days apart and show to meet the following requirements:
- eliminate VOCs by at least 95%
- maintain a leak free system
- use a continuous burning pilot light
- burn without visible emissions
Alternatively, an emission control device pre tested and approved by the EPA under 40 CFR 60.5413 can be installed.
It is important to note there is a simple way to assure EPA compliance and alleviate any confusion. Make sure you purchase a pre approved emission control device available for polluting sources such as storage vessels, centrifugal compressors, and glycol dehydration units outlined in 40 CFR part 60 and 63. Pre approval by the EPA guarantees that potential polluting sources will be up to EPA standards.
The VOCinerator™ exceeds current EPA standards, eliminating the worry of future EPA compliance issues as well as providing the absolute best air quality protection available. You can rest assured you are in compliance as soon as a VOCinerator™ Combustion Unit is properly in place.
MESSCO leads the industry for highest reliability. In fact, the second generation VOCinerator™ Combustion Unit has achieved an industry record with ZERO failures due to uncontrolled flame or liquid upsets. For a total turnkey operation, companies can purchase an optional maintenance program, relieving them of any worry about future repairs, inspections or equipment failure.
Since 1998, MESSCO has become well known and most respected for it’s ability to manufacture production equipment for the oil and gas industry.
In addition, MESSCO provides large scale fabrication using certified welding services. With over 65,000 square feet of heavy product manufacturing capability, the state of the art facilities at MESSCO are designed to eliminate size as a factor when it comes to custom projects.
Customers know each product manufactured by MESSCO is rigorously tested according to the standards set by the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code and the National Board, assuring that these products are safe and legal and compliant.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) was formed in 1880 and is internationally renowned for establishing quality and safety codes. Utilization of the ASME Code Symbol Stamp is a means of complying with the laws and regulations recognized across the United States and Canada.
In addition, the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code was set by ASME in response to an overwhelming amount of accidents resulting in death and injury due to boiler and pressure vessel failure. The Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code sets the standard for the design, fabrication, repair, and inspection of pressure vessels up to this day. The ability to build pressure vessels up to these standards is shown with the ASME U stamp.
Certifications with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the National Board of Boiler and Vessel Inspectors assure a qualified product that is safe and reliable. Over 100 countries accept the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code as a means of meeting their regulations.
MESSCO maintains the prestigious ASME awarded U stamp. This means every welder working on code projects are certified, all materials used are documented, and every pressure retaining device is built from the ground up and inspected to guarantee its safety and reliability.
MESSCO is also accredited with the National Board’s NB mark and R stamp allowing the metallic repair and modification of existing boilers and other pressure retaining equipment. All pressure retaining items approved by the National Board or ASME are documented every step of the way. Once the rigorous requirements are met, each device approved is registered and marked with an identifying number and the appropriate stamps.
ASME and National Board certified facilities maintain a high degree of accountability to the review board through scrupulous audits and reviews. These certifications remove the guessing game for customers and ensure a superior product.
When asked why MESSCO chose to apply for the various stamps, Dave Moneyhun, president of MESSCO said, “In order to manufacture pressure vessels we knew we needed to be certified, so our team made a commitment to excellence. We decided we were going to be a manufacturing facility that assured a superior product. This was not something to take lightly. We’ve paid the thousands of dollars a year to maintain these certifications, hired the appropriate personnel to document our manufacturing processes, and gone through the rigorous audits and reviews every three years by the ASME and National Board to keep our certifications up to date. It’s been a tremendous team effort, and we are proud of the equipment that leaves our facility.”
 ASME, Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code,
https://www.asme.org/shop/certification-and-accreditation/boiler-and-pressure-vessel-certification (May 30, 2014).
 National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, NB mark,
http://www.nationalboard.org/Index.aspx?pageID=115&ID=163 (May 30, 2014).
 National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, R stamp,
http://www.nationalboard.org/Index.aspx?pageID=115&ID=160 (May 30, 2014).
 Dave Moneyhun, MESSCO, President/Owner