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Name: Yuni
Status: other
Grade: 9-12
Country: Indonesia
Date: N/A 

I have seen a flare in some oil and gas industry plants. They are burning dangerous gas in the flare. Does it contribute to air pollution when they are burning those dangerous gasses? 2. Is there any technology that has been found in order to treat the dangerous gasses without burning it in the flare so that it will not create any air pollutants? thank you...

A very good question. I wish I had the answer. The same thought occurred to me. The flare should be able to at least boil water.

Vince Calder

Hi Yuni,

The gases being burned in oil refinery flares are simply some of the lighter hydrocarbons (mainly methane gas) that are not practical to use for other purposes. Burning these unwanted gases eliminates the problem of releasing methane gas and other light hydrocarbons directly to the atmosphere. The combustion products are mainly water and carbon dioxide, neither of which are classified as "pollutants".

In answer to your second question, there is no practical alternative to burning the (mainly) waste methane, other than to develop more clean-burning flares. Steam is sometimes injected into the flare to help reduce the smoke that is sometimes generated.


Bob Wilson

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