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Chemicals giant improves gas leak safety imaging technology

5th February 2014


BP Chemicals is using FLIR Systems' Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) cameras for the visualisation and documentation of gas leaks.

Effective leak detection is a priority at BP Chemicals manufacturing sites and is one of a number of procedures used for ensuring safe operation. This application note describes the experiences of technologists at BP Chemicals flagship manufacturing and process research site at Saltend, UK.

Three FLIR Systems OGI cameras were employed to check plant integrity at the Saltend site. Designed for outdoor use - the FLIR OGI camera was used to detect a range of gases including methane and methanol that are both predominant at the UK plant.

In addition, a long wave (LW) version of the camera was used for detecting acetic acid, acetic anhydride and ammonia, three of the total of eight products processed at Saltend. Completing the set was a FLIR OGI cameral specifically designed to detect carbon monoxide (CO) - a colourless, odourless but highly poisonous gas used in the manufacturing process.

Although some process areas of BP Chemicals at Saltend are 30 years old the site is exceptionally well maintained and this was born out by the relatively few emissions detected during the IR survey. Nevertheless all three FLIR OGI cameras acquitted themselves well by pinpointing several gas leaks.

FLIR OGI camera have become a defacto standard adopted by manufacturing plants across the world for the visualisation and documentation of gas leaks.

FLIR OGI cameras can scan large areas rapidly and pinpoint leaks in real time. The technology is ideal for monitoring plant that is difficult to reach with contact measurement tools and literally thousands of components can be scanned per shift without the need to interrupt the process. Using a FLIR OGI camera reduces repair downtime and provides verification of the process.

Importantly using FLIR OGI camera technology is safe, as potentially dangerous leaks can be monitored from several meters away.

For more information, visit www.flir.com







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