Chemicals range from industrial chemicals to petrochemicals such as oil, natural gas, and pesticides. Transporting flammable, reactive, and potentially lethal chemicals is not only difficult but has the most significant impact should something go wrong.
Issues affecting the chemical industry are:
- Processing hazardous materials
- Transport and storage of hazardous materials
- Chemical exposure to human population
- Pipeline vandalism
- Environmental damage
52.2 million tons of chemicals are transported via pipelines in Germany each year1
The nature of hazardous materials means that safety is at the forefront of the logistics, particularly in places of high consequence. Recent events have shown the dangers of transporting chemicals by rail near urban areas. In 2013 a runaway petrochemical train derailed at Lac-Mégantic, Canada. The resulting explosion killed 47 people2. A similar incident in Louisiana USA resulted in 100 homes being evacuated after sodium hydroxide, a chemical which is deadly if inhaled, leaked from a derailed train3.
Transporting via pipelines is probably the safest option, however it is still a huge responsibility to ensure the safety of people and the protection of the environment in the event of a spill. Potentially large spills from the pipelines can be avoided with an effective leak detection system. A reliable and effective leak detection solution is invaluable to the chemical industry to help prevent damage to people, property and the environment, and help prevent reputational damage due to a spill.
Why use an Atmos system?
Atmos has been established in the pipeline industry for nearly 20 years with a range of multi-national companies as customers. Atmos understands the seriousness of a pipeline leak event and the company’s field-proven systems can help detect the smallest of pin-hole leaks to protect the environment and our client’s reputations.
Atmos products available for the chemical industry
Atmos Pipe employs Atmos’ unique statistical volume balance method to provide an extremely reliable leak detection system that can detect both the onset and existing leaks.
Atmos Pipe has the ability to identify operational changes in the pipeline and can detect leaks during transient operations. Data validation algorithms and filtering techniques are employed to improve data quality. Flow measurement errors are also learned to assist in the provision of reliable and sensitive leak detection.
Atmos Wave detects the rarefaction wave caused by a leak in a pipeline. When a leak occurs a rarefaction wave travels in both directions along a pipeline. Using fast response pressure sensors Atmos Wave filters the pressure signals to find those with the frequency and magnitude of a leak. The time at which the pressure signal reaches each pressure sensor is used to determine the location of the leak extremely accurately.
Atmos’ newest LDS uses elements from both flow balance and rarefaction wave methods. The sophisticated system uses a multi-element model to reduce uncertainty and improve performance. This provides accurate leak detection and location in a significantly faster time.
Atmos Simulation Suite has a range of powerful and user friendly tools to assist operators in monitoring unmetered lines. It can provide online systems with the ability to forecast operating conditions, offline simulations for design, tuning, training and a surge analysis module.
A system that monitors the status of Atmos’ application software to ensure they are functioning correctly while running in the background. This provides a piece of mind without the need for human intervention.
2Criminal negligence charges filed in Lac-Mégantic train crash. thestar.com
3Hazardous chemical leak after Louisiana train derails. BBC News.