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ENGINEERING STANDARD

FOR

FLARE STACK

NPCS-ES-PV-04
REVISION : 0

CONTENTS

STANDARDS

AND

CODES

OVERVIEW

OF

TYPE

FLARES

OF

FLARE

FLARING

SYSTEM

COMPONENTS

SMOKELESS

FLARES

MULTIJET

FLARES

DESIGNING

THEE

FLARE

STACK

AND

ACCESSORIES

GENERAL
KNOCK-OUT
SEAL

DRUM

SYSTEM

FLARE

BURNERS

FLARE

READERS

FLARE

STACKS

STACK

DIMENSIONS

STACK
WIND

SIZING

SUPPORT
BREAKER

DESIGN

AND

DESIGN

TEMPERATURE

DESIGN

LOAD

STATIC

DEFLECTION

DYNAMIC

ANALYSIS

ALLOWABLE

ALLOWABLE

STRESS

WORKING

PRESSURE

NATIONALPETROCI-IE~4ICA.LCO.
STIUJDARDS

: .

16

.1 7

FLARE STACK

STACK THICKNESS
NOZZLES, COUPLINGS AND FLANGES
MATERIAL OF CONSTRUCTION
CORROSION

ALLOWANCE

JOINT EFFICIENCY
NOISE POLLUTION
b

STRESS REI,IEF.

WINTERIZING AND CONTROL

.O

SIZING PIPING, HEADERS AND VALVES

.1

INLET AND DISCHARGE PIPING

.l. 1

STEAM LINE

-1.2

PURGE GAS LINE

.1.3

VAPOR LINE SIZING

__-

NATIONAL

PETROCI~EhUXL
STANDARDS

CO.

E'LARE

NPCS-ES-PV-04

STACK

PAGE 3

OF 30

SCOPE
.l

This standard covers the requirements for design and


materials of fusion welded selfsupported/guyed/derrick
flare stacks (hereafter called stacks), and is
intended to supplement the applicable codes.

.2

This standard does not cover the requirements for


fabrication inspection and testing of fusion welded
stacks; nevertheless, as far as the fabrication,
inspection and testing requirements do pertain to the
design of stacks, they have been mentioned.

.3

The compliance with this standard does not relieve the


designer from his own responsibilities and guarantees
for the safe mechanical design of stacks.

.4

This standard when accompanied by the particular stack


drawings, typical details and
description, stack
material standard for flare stack, NPCS-MS-PV-05,
constitute a complete set of standards outlining
acceptable construction of stack.

STANDARDS

AND

CODES

(Latest

edition

and

addenda)

- ASME

Boiler and Pressure


Vessel Code Sec. VIII,
Div.1 and/or 2 & Sec.11
& Sec.V.

- BS

407B
Steel

Specification
Chimneys.

All codes referred to, in the above


such as ANSI B16.5,
API 605, etc.

mentioned

for
codes

- API 941

Steel for Hydrogen


Service at Elevated
Temperature and
Pressure.

ANSI A58.1

Standard for Wind


Seismic Load.

NPCS-ES-ST-01

Engineering Standard
for Concrete.

NPCS-ES-ST-06

Engineering Standard
for Anchor Bolts.

and

NATIONAL PETROCIIEMICN,
STANDARDS
3

OVERVIEW

3.1

TYPES

OF

OF

CO.

FLARE

STACK

NPCS-ES-PV-04
PAGE 4

OF 30

FLARING

FLARES

There are basically two types of flare systems,


namely, elevated flares and ground flares.
In an elevated flare system, combustion reactions are
carried out at the top of a pipe or stack where the
burner and igniter are located. A ground flare is
similarly equipped except that the combustion takes
place at or near ground level. Three types of ground
flares are in general use:
a)

The type that uses a water spray to disperse the


combustion
gases.

b)

The Venturi type that depends on the kinetic


energy available in the waste gases to inspirate
and mix the proper amount of air with the gases.

Multijet
ground flares where the flow of the
waste gas is distributed through many small
burners.

1.1.1

The principal components in a ground flare system, are


a knock-out drum, multijet
burners, a refractory
lined rectangular flare box 'and a seal drum. The
flare flame is returned to the inside of the flare
chamber.

1.1.2

In an elevated flare system, relieving gases are sent


through an elevated stack from a closed collection
system and burned off at the top. The flame generated
is open in this case.

1.1.3

Flares are not intended to operate continuously under


normal
process
conditions. However, during plant
startups there may be continuous flaring for six or
seven consecutive days.

:. 2

FLARE

i.2.1

A typical flare system is comprised of the fol.lowing


components:

SYSTEM

COMPONENTS

a)

Relief,

b)

Pressure-relieving
header(s)
that
convey
discharges from safety and pressure-control
in the process unit to the flare.

c)

safety, and depressuring

valves.
valves

Knock-out drum located before the flare stack in


order to separate any condensate or liquid from
the relieving vapors (It is hazardous to burn
liquid
droplets).

iI

.jNPCS-ES-PV-04 / 0
NATIONAL

PETROCHEMICAL
STI'JIDARDS

PAGE 5 OF 3o

d)
.2.2

CO.

Flare stack consisting of the riser


molecular seal, and burner tip.

,
structure,

A Brief Description of the Ma.ior Components Follows


Riser structure
This normally consists of two or more sections. The
flare header enters at the bottom section, which
serves as a flare stack knock-out drum where any
condensate carried over from the knock-out drum is
collected.

Molecular seal
This is welded to the riser section.
It provides a
seal again& entrance of air into the flare stack and
minimizes the possibility of an explosive mixture
forming in the flare system. Briefly, it resembles a
bubble cap' and creates a seal by using the buoyancy of
the purge gas to create a zone where the pressure is
greater than atmospheric pressure.
Flare

burner

Lip

The burner tip is a complete assembly sealed to the


molecular seal outlet.
Accessories on the burner tips
include about three or four gas pilots, a similar
number of pilot gas/air mixture assemblies, and steam
supply nozzles for steam injection.
.2.3

The relieving gases from safety-relief valves are


collec.ted
in a horizontal or vertical knock-out drum
.through a flare main header. Any condensate carried
over along with the gases is knocked down here. A
constant liquid level is maintained in the boot. The
liquid is pumped to a slop tank or reused in oil
recovery
facilities.
Steam is used for winterizing to
prevent
freezing. The gas from the knock-out drum is
then sent to an elevated flare stack. At the bottom
of the stack a liquid seal is maintained. Alternately
another seal may be located between the knock-out drum
and the flare stack. A positive water seal is
maintained by controlling the level.
It is also
provided width steam for winterizing.
The stack is comprised of a riser section, molecular
seal, and burner tip. At the top of the burner tip,
pilot
burners, which are automatically lighted from a
remote place through the igniter line, are positioned.
The steam connection is also provided for smokeless
flares and a purge gas connection is provided for
maintaining an air-free system and to prevent
flashback by maintaining pressure at the molecular
seal higher than atmospheric pressure.
This
arrangement prevents air from reentering the stack
from the ambient surroundings,

NATIONALPETROCIIEMICAL CO.
STANDARDS

FLARE

STACK

NPCS-ES-IV-04
PAGE6

OF 30

SMOKELESS FLARES
A flame is referred to as being luminous when
incandescent Carbon particles are present in it. When
these particles cool, they form smoke. It has been
observed that smoke formation mainly occurs in fuelrich systems where a low Hydrogen-atom concentration
suppresses the smoke.
Prevention of smoke in flares is normally accomplished
in three different ways:
a)

By the addition of steam.

b)

By making a pre-mix of fuel and air before


combustion so as to provide sufficient Oxygen for
efficient combustion (which is always done in
fired boilers and furnaces).

C)

By distribution of the flow of raw gases through a


number of small burners.

Among these methods, the addition of steam is most


commonly used to produce a smokeless flare for economy
and
superior
performance. In steam addition, the raw
gas is preheated before it enters the combustion zone
of the flame.
If the temperature is high enough,
This
produces
cracking of the hydrocarbons may occur.
free Hydrogen and Carbon. When the cracked
hydrocarbons travel to the combustion zone, Hydrogen
reacts much faster than Carbon. Unless the Carbon
particles are burned away, they cool down and form
smoke. Consequently, in order to prevent smoke,
either the Hydrogen atom concentration must be
decreased to ensure uniform burning of both Hydrogen
and Carbon or enough Oxygen must be provided for
complete combustion.
There are several theories as to the chemistry of
smokeless flares using steam. One of them assumes
that the steam separates the hydrocarbon molecules,
thereby minimizing polymerization reactions, and forms
Oxygen compounds that burn at a reduced rate and
temperatures so as to prevent cracking.
I. 4

MULTIJET FLARE
The multijet
flare developed by Esso Research and
Engineering Company burns with no smoke, noise or
visible
flame. It costs about twice as much as a
flare with no steam but half as much as an eleva~ted
flare with steam if off-site steam facilities are
included.

NATIONAL PIZTROCHEMICAL
STIUJDARDS

FLAKE

CO.

STACK

The flare uses two burners. A small burner handles


normal leakage and small blows, while both burners
operate at higher flaring rates. This staging is
controlled by two water-seal drums set to release at
different
pressure
levels.
A third emergency release is provided in the center of
the stack, bypassing the multijet
burners. The water
seal to this release will blow at flaring rates higher
than the design capacity of the flare. When the
overcapacity seal has been blown, the flare is both
luminous and smoky. But the unit is usually sized so
that an overcapacity blow would be a rare occurrence.
The overcapacity line may also discharge to an
elevated flare rather than to the center of the
multijet
stack.
The staging system is balanced by adjusting the
hand-controlled butterfly valve leading to the first
stage drum. After its initial setting, this valve is
locked into posi~tion.

DESIGNING

THE

FLARE

STACK

AND

ACCESSORIES

.1

GENERAL

.l.l

The stack designer shall be responsible for the


accuracy of all mathematical manipulations,
calculations and computer programs used for the
stress, deflection, buckling and other design criteria
of the stack.

.1.2

The thickness specified


thickness acceptable.

.1.3

Stacks
severe
design

.1.4

The design of a flare system first requires a detailed


analysis of the possible situations that can cause
discharge from pressure-relief valves, thus
establishing the maximum loading for emergency
operations.
The maximum load of a system is comprised
of the individual loads contributed by the entire
process.
Tha.t is, a conservative design is one that
assumes all contributors for the process are relieving
simultaneously under any emergency condition.

shall

be

shall be designed taking


coincident conditions of
pressure.

regarded

as

minimum

into account the most


design temperature and

NATIONAL PETROCIIEMICAL
STANDARDS

CO.

FLARE

STACK

From a practical standpoint, it is preferable that


relieving of overpressures to the flare systems via
the pressure-relief valves should be kept to a
minimum, since after popping, the pressure-relief
valves often do not reseat. This results in leakage,
and consequently reduces the recovery of valuable
products.
For minor operational upsets, and
especially at startup, where flaring for periods of
time is often necessary, the use of pressure-relief
valves is undesirable.
Therefore, overriding
pressure-control valves strategically located on some
equipment are often used in addition to the
pressure-relief .valves.
Examples of such locations
are the suction sides of compressors, overhead product
lines of fractionating columns, at the beginning or at
the end of a series of high pressure reactors, etc.
1.2

KNOCK-OUT

DRUM

SIZING

L.2.1

The hydrocarbon relief streams are mainly vapors, but


they may carry some liquids that condense in the
collecting
line. Therefore, material entering ~the
knock-out drum (also called a blow-down drum) will be
a mixture of vapor and liquid. A particle that is
150 microns or less can be burned in the flare without
Larger particles must be removed in the
hazard.
knock-out
drum. This liquid is pumped out from the
bottom of the knock-out drum either for reuse or for
disposal in a slop tank.
ethylene plants or coal
In some process plants, e,g,,
gasification plan,ts, hot vapors containing water are
collected in a separate flare header (called a wet
flare header).
The liquid collected in the knock-out
drum for the wet flare contains water and liquid
hydrocarbons.
In the same manner, cold and dry
hydrocarbon vapors are collected in a dry flare
header.
The hydrocarbon liquid collected in the
knock-out drum of the dry flare is usually vaporized
below the knock-out drum and sent back to the flare.

1.2.2

Knock-out drums are either horizontal or


They are also available in a variety of
and arrangements that include:

vertical.
configurations

a)

A horizontal drum with the vapor entering at one


end of the vessel and exiting at the top of the
opposite end (no internal baffling).

b)

A horizontal drum with the vapor entering at each


end on the horizontal axis and a center outlet.

C)

A horizontal drum with the vapor entering in


center and exiting at the two ends on the
horizontal
axis.

the

1i -

r
-2.3

dl

A vertical drum with the vapor entering at the top


on a certain diameter and provided with a baffle
so the flow is directed downward. The outlet
nozzle is located at the top of the vertical axis.

e)

vertical

drum

with

tangential

nozzle.

Selection of the drum arrangement depends on


economics.
When large liquid volume storage is
required and the vapor flow is high, normally a
horizontal drum is more economical.
A split entry or exit reduces the size of the drum for
large flows. As a rule of thumb, when the drum
diameter exceeds 3.66 m (12 ft), the split flow
arrangement is normally economical.
Knock-out drums are usually sized by a trial and error
Liquid particles drop-out when the vapor
method.
velocity traveling through the drum is sufficiently
low.
In other words, the drum must be of sufficient
diameter to effect the desired liquid-vapor
separation.
Tan gives the following formula for sizing horizontal
drums:
W = 4.98 D". $[(F'L - PC) MP/Tl
Valid

for

particle

size

of

400

microns.

where:
W = kg/s of vapor
liquid density Kg/m"
PL=
PC= gas density Kg/m3
M = mol. wt. of the vapor
T = temperature of the vapor in K
P = pressure, Kpa
D = drum diameter,m
Similar expressions are available for vertical
knock-out
drums. A practical formula for the vapor
velocity is:
v = 0.1219

4[(PL -

Pc)/Pcl

m/s

__-

, J?J!LIII"LLuuv.l~AL
STANDARDS

c-v.

I
3 STACK

j$pCS-ES-PV-04
PAGE10

I
0

OF 30

4.3

SEAL

SYSTEM

4.3.1

Standard practice in refineries and most chemical


plants is to provide a seal at the base of the flare
to prevent flashbacks.
In the absence of a seal, a
continuous quantity of gas may be bled to the flare to
maintain a positive flow. Seals are of two main
liquid seal and gas seal. Both are widely
types;
used.

4.3.2

Liquid seals are further classified as seal drums and


seal pipes.
In the former, a liquid seal is used in a
seal drum located between the knock-out drum and the
flare stack.
Instead of a drum, sometimes a piping
seal is used as a seal leg located at the bottom of
the flare stack. This is often an integral part of
the stack. Seal drums are also either vertical 0~
horizontal.

4.3.3

The selection of the seal drum depends essentially on


the availability of space. The purpose of a seal drum
is to maintain a seal of several inches on the inlet
flare header, preferably not exceeding 152 mm (6"),
otherwise it causes a back pressure on the knock-out
drum. Water is normally used as a sealing liquid and
there is always a continuous flow of water with the
overflow going to the sewer. If located in a cold
climate, the water must either be heated by a submerged
steam heater or it may be replaced by liquids such as
alcohol, kerosene, etc., which do not require
continuous
flow.

4.3.4

The capacity of the seal drum is usually the volume


corresponding to 2.44 to 3.05 m (8 to 10 ft) of the
vapor inlet line.
In a vertical drum, the ratio of the
inlet pipe cross-sectional area to the vessel-free area
for gas flow above the liquid should be at least 1 to 3
to prevent upsetting surges of gas flow to the flare.
The area for the gas above the liquid surface should
be at least equal to that of a circle having a
diameter D equal to 2d, where d = inlet gas pipe
diameter.
This can be derived as follows:
Assuming a vertical vessel of cross-sectional area
(s/4) D2 and the inlet pipe (r/4) d2, the annular area
is thus s/4 (D* - dZ),
Since the suggested ratio is
1:3, D2 - d' = 3d2 or D = 2d.

4.3.5

The height of the vapor space above the liquid level


in a vertical drum should be approximately two to
three times the diameter (d) to provide disengaging
space for entrained seal liquid.
If a horizontal seal vessel is used, a minimum
dimension of 0.91 m (3 ft) between liquid level and top
of the drum is recommended.
-

NATIONAL PETROCI~lXMICAL
STfWDARDS
1.3.5

lURE

CO.

NPCS-ES-W-04

STACK

PAGE 11 OF 30
I

Seal pipes located at the base of the stack are


cheaper than drums. However, they can experience
pulsation of the gas flow to the flare under very low
flow
conditions. Also, during a large gas release,
the water seal may be blown out of the top to the
flare stack.
Some general guidelines for sizing seal
legs follow:
a)

Slope of the inlet line is designed to provide a


volume of water below the normal sealing water
level equivalent to the inlet pipe volume of
10 ft.

b)

Depth of the water seal


prevent gas pulsation.

C)

Seal water level is maintained by a continuous


flow of water at about 16.5 lit/s (20 gallons per
minute).

d)

Normal overflow is taken off the bottom of the


seal through a seal leg. The height of the seal
leg should be equivalent to about 175% of the
pressure at the base of the stack during maximum
vapor release so that gas release at the base of
the flare is prevented.

should

not

exceed

12"

to

A more recent gas seal type of device that has been


developed to prevent flashbacks and explosions in the
flare system is the molecular type seal. It uses a
purge gas of molecular weight 28 or less (e.g. Nz,
Because of the buoyancy of the
CH4, or natural gas).
purge gas, it creates a zone having a pressure greater
than the atmospheric pressure. The molecular seal is
located at the top of the flare stack immediately
before the burner tip. The ambient air can not enter
the stack because of this high pressure. The
recommended purge velocity through the molecular seal
is about 30.5 mm/s (0.1 ft/s). If a molecular seal is
not used, the recommended velocity is 305 mm/s
(1 ft/s), thereby increasing the purge gas requirement.
FLARE

BURNERS

The flare burner is located at the tip of the flare


stack.
The top section is about 3.7 m (12 ft) long and
is called the flare burner tip. The burner diameter is
sized on a velocity basis. Experiments have shown
that flame blowout occurs when the exit velocity of
vapors exceeds 20 to 30% of the sonic velocity.
It is
therefore good practice to size the burner or the flare
stack on a basis of 20% of the sonic velocity as the
exit
velocity. The equation of a burner diameter can
then be derived as follows.

The mass flow

is given by:

W = PC AcV
Where:
w = mass flow rate, Kg/s
PC = density of the gas, Kg/m3
V = exit velocity, m/s
AC= cross-sectional area, mz
The

vapor

density

is:
MP

PC =
8314T
The

exit

velocity

equals

1
v = 5
The

flare

tip
AC

of

sonic:

KRT
J(

)
M

cross
=

20%

section

0.785
144

is

a2

where:
M = mol. wt.
P = absolute pressure of vapor 101325 Pa
T = temperature, OK
ipa) (m3)
R = gas constant, 8314
(kg mole) (<K)
CP
K = heat capacity ratio C"
-4.1

Flare

Burner

Diameter

A flare stack, particularly the flare burner, must be


of a diameter suitable to maintain a stable flame and
pi-event a blowout should there be a major failure.
Experiments show that flame blowout occurs when vapor
exit velocities are as high as 20 to 30% of the sonic
velocity of the stack vapors. These results were
obtained with small diameter pipes up to 3.9 mm
(0.152").

__mRE STACK
NATIONAL PETROCIIEA~1CA.L
STANDARDS

CO.

NPCS-ES-W-04
PAGE 13 OF 30

There is evidence that higher blowout velocities are


attainable with pipes of larger diameter such as flare
stacks;
but in the absence of data on blowout
velocities for flare stacks, it is good practice to
size flare stacks on a basis of 20% of the sonic
velocity as the exit velocity.
The equation for the diameter of a flare burner can be
described as follows:
dz=

(w/zoo)

~(T/M)

where:
w =

mass

flow

rate,

Kg/s

T = temperature of vapor 'K


M = molectilar
weight of the vapor
d = diameter of flare tip, m.
.4.2

Flare

CapacityI

The most difficult task is to estimate the optimum


design capacity of the flare.
It is easy enough to
determine the maximum possible release from certain
groups of processing units, but this maximumrelease
would usually occur so rarely that it would not be
economical to size the flare on this basis.
A record of flaring obtained from a certain group of
units over a one year's time will help the designer to
decide which size is better, but generally it should
be appropriate for handling 95% of flaring for most
occasions.
Sometimes an over capacity line is added.
.4.3

Burner

Stages

The multijet
burner has a turndown ratio of
approximately 1O:l.
A two-stage burner will give a
maximum turndown ratio of lOO:l,
which is adequate for
most
situations. When designing for two stages, the
firs-t stage should handle approximately 20% of the
total maximum load. Although this reduces the overall
turndown ratio to approximately 50:1,
it will permit a
reasonably large flaring rate without blowing both
water seals.
It also provides a large overlap between
the maximum burning rate of the first stage and the
minimum rate of .the second stage.
This is desirable
for smooth operation.

NPCS-ES-PV-04 j 0
NATIONAL PlXROCHEh~ICAL
STANDARDS
4.4.4

Number

of

CO.
PAGE 14 OF 30

Burner

Jets

The jet nozzles are made from standard 25.4 mm


(1" pipe). Each nozzle is 127 mm (5") long. The jets
discharge vertically from subheaders, or burner lines,
which run horizontally across the bottom of the stack.
The burner lines are connected just outside the stack
to a large header. For design rates up to 0.170 Kmol/s
(12 MMscfd), the burner lines are usually specified as
152 mm (6") pipe. The common header on the second
stage burner would be approximately 457 mm (18") pipe.
The number of jets is based on gas velocity. For 25 mm
(1") standard pipe, the recommended velocity permits a
flow rate of 846 Kmol/s (61200 scfd) per jet.
Expressed as an equation
N = 1185.4 V
Where:
N = number of jets
v=
flare design capacity,

Kmol/s

MMscfd means millions of standard cubic feet per day


(for a flare system, standard cubic feet is almost
always equivalent to actual cubic feet).
The jets are on a square or rectangular layout with a
pitch of 457 to 610 mm (18' to 24"). A first estimate
of the required pitch can be obtained from the
following:
0.8331)
Pg=

(for

square layout)

N1 I2
0.69DZ
Ps=

(for

rectangular

layout)

NC
where:
Ps= jet pitch, m.
D = stack inside diameter, m.
N = number of jets
C q distance between centerlines

of

burner

lines,

m.

No jets should be placed closer than 305 mm (12") to


the inside of the stack.
For gases with low heating
values,
it is usually preferable to decrease the jet
pitch to less than 457 mm (18") in order to avoid an
increase in the stack inside diameter.
It is
preferable to keep the pitch above 381 mm (15").

NATIONAL PETROCI1EMICAL
STANDARDS

CO.

EURE

STACK

WCS-ES-W-04
PAGE

15 OF 30

Flameholders
The flameholders actually are the most important
feature of the flare. They are solid, 2.54 mm (.l"l
diameter rods of refractory material running
horizontally above each burner line.
The rod is
positioned directly over the jet nozzles, with the
bottom of the rod 1.27 mm (l/Z") above the tips of the
nozzles.
The rods provide a surface
at which burning can take place.
They prevent the
flame from rising up to the top of the stack. The
flameholders also promote better mixing of air and gas
by the additional turbulence they cause above the
jets.
'The entire burner assembly, except for the
flameholders, should be insulated to withstand direct
flame
impingement. The position of the flameholders
and burner lines relative to the bottom of the stack
is critical for proper operation.
The multijet
designs have included provisions for
field adjustment t5.08 mm (+ 2") of the distance
between the
top of the burner lines and the bottom of the stack.
This is done with variable-length pipe hangers and a
relatively long main header.
The burner lines should all lie in an absolutely
horizontal plane below the stack. The main headers
are sloped back to the seal drums to provide drainage.
Pilot

Burner

One or two pilot burners are provided at each end of


the first stage burner line. These burners are
recessed into the wall of the stack and directed over
the nearest jet. Most designs include both an
oil-fired and a gas-fired pilot at one end of the
burner line to insure an active pilot at all times.
Flare

Pilot

and

Igniter

To ensure ignition of flare gases, continuous pilots


with a means of remote ignition are recommended for
all flares.
Generally, the pilot system consists of
three
components, a continuous pilot, an on/off pilot,
and an igniter. The most commonly used type of
igniter is the flame-front propagation type which
utilizes a spark from a remote location to ignite a
flammable mixture.
The on/off type is used only to ensure ignition of the
continuous
pilot. Pilot igni~ter
controls are located
near the base of elevated flares and at least 30.5 m
(100 ftJ from ground flares.
The number of pilot systems required per flare is
ls~rgely
a function of wind conditions. A minimum of
two pilo~t systems is recommended with normally three
pilot systems used.
These are distributed uniformly
around the top of the flare.

PWROCIIEMICAL
STMIDNIDS

FLARE

CO.

WCS-ES-PV-04

STACK

PAGE 16 OF 30

4.5

FLARE

HEADER

4.5.1

The flare header, which collects the vapors from the


safety valves for safe discharge to the knock-out drum
and the flare stack, is sized for the largest vapor
load caused by a single failure. This vapor load is
obtained from a tabulation of relief loads from safety
valves connected to the flare system.
The loads which may occur simultaneously as a result
of fire, cooling water failure, etc., are summed up.
From these summations the largest load is determined.

4.5.2

The allowable upstream pressure in the header is


The higher the upstream pressure, the
important.
upstream
smaller is the header size. However, the
pressure is usually limited by the lowest set pressure
of the safety valve in the system. In addition, even
if sufficient pressure is available, it is not
desirable .to size the header so that the flow becomes
sonic.

4.6

FLARE

4.G.L

The location of the flare stack is a safety-related


issue.
Normally, it is located in areas'on the lee
side of the planet (downwind of prevailing winds) and
remote from operating and trafficked zones.

4.6.2

The height of the flare stack depends upon the


following:

STACKS

a)

Heat released by the flare gas in J/s.

bi

Characteristics

Cl

Emissivity

d)

Radiation

of

of
the

intensity

the

flame

and

the

flame

length.

flame.
of

the

flame

in

J/hr/n?.

Ground level concentration of toxic gases present


in the flare stream in the event of a flame
blowout.
There is considerable interest in flame mechanics.
Flame burning characteristics and flame length are of
considerable importance in sizing the flare stack.
Note that the flame height increases appreciably when
combustible gas flow is sufficiently reduced so as to
cause a shift back into ,the laminar zone. By
designing a flare tip which induces premixing of gas
and air or selecting a smokeless design which induces
partial premixing by agitation with steam, the
increased peaking of the flare in the laminar zone may
be avoided or materially reduced. This type of flare
tip design also reduces the noise level.
e)

1qh'rIONAL Pl%'I'ROCIIiX~~IC.~
STANDARDS

CO.

FLARE

NPCS-ES-w-04

STACK

PAGE17

OF

0
30

The thermal radiation and escape time can be estimated


from the data in table 4-1. Values are based on
experimental data on the threshold limit of pain to
the human body as a function of the radiation
intensity in BTU/hr/ft',
generated by a flame.
HEAT

TABLE 4-l
RADIATION AND ESCAPE

RADIATION INTENSITY
J/s/m*
(Btu/hr/ftz)
1388
1735
2334
2902
4731
6940
9464
11672
19874

TIME

(440)
(550)
(740)
(920)
(1500)
(2200)
(3000)
(3700)
(6300)

TIME

TO PAIN THRESHOLD
(seconds)
00
GO
40
30
16
9
6
4
2

4.6.4

A safe level of heat radiation intensity for unlimited


time exposure has been found to be 1388 J/s/m'
(440 BTU/hr/ft"
). It is apparent that a time interval
with varying radiation intensity must be allowed, to
permit a human to escape from a suddenly released
intense heat source. The varying radiation intensity
results from an individual increasing his distance from
the source of heat.
Assume a person is at the base of a flare stack when
heat is suddenly released.
The average individual
reaction time is between three and five second.
Hence, during this short reaction time interval, the
full radiated heat intensity will be absorbed.

4.1

STACK

DIMENSIONS

The inside diame.ter


of the stack is based on the rate
of heat release at design capacity. Currently,
497 cm2 (0.535 ft") of stack cross-sectional area per
2.9 X 10" KJ/s (.million Etu/hr)
is used.
As an
equation,
D = 0.01474 Q112
Where:
D = Stack inside diameter in m.
Q = Heat release in KJ/s
value )

(based on higher heating

NATIONAL

PETROCHEMICAL
STANDARDS

CO.

FLARE

WCS-ES-W-04

STACK

PAGE 18 OF 30

The height of the stack depends on the toxicity of


gases, wind direction, flare location, etc.
The minimum clearance between grade and the bottom of
the stack is either l/4 of the stack inside diameter
or 1.8 m (6 ft), whichever is greater.
The stack's steel shell is lined its entire length
with 102 t;o 152 mm (4" to 6") of refractory and
insulating
material.
4.8

STACK

SUPPORT

There are generally three types of flare stack


and
self-supporting.
supports: Guyed type, Derrick
As a rough guide to the economics of these three types
of flare structures, the comparative costs for
material and labor as functions of stuck height are
tabulated
here:
Capital

Investment

up to
46 m
(150 ft)
Least
Derrick type
expensive Self-supporting
Most
Guyed
expensive
Installation
Least
expensive

Most

Only)

46 to 61 m
t.150 to 200 ft)

Above 61
(200 ft)

Derrick
Guyed

Guyed
Derrick

type

Self-supporting

Selfsupporting

Derrick
(,Self-supporing, Guyed)*

Guyed
Derrick
selfsupporting

Labor

Self--supporting
Guyed
Derrick

expensive
*

2.9

(Equipment

about equal in cost

W1NDBREAWR
The recommended windbreaker is an octagonal louvered
fence placed approximately 2.4 m (8 ft) from the stack
and extending to a height approximately 0.6 m (2 ft)
above the bottom of the stack. The construction is
somewhat like a Venetian
blind; it avoids line-of-sight
vision to the bottom of the stack, while permitting the
entrance of combustion air.
The slats are
approximatly
152 mm (6") wide with at least 102 mm (2")
of overlap. They are sloped at a 45' angle to direct
the flow of air downward on the inside of the
eIlClOSUI?e*
As a safety precaution, there are four
access doors in the windbreaker.

The stack and. the windbreaker stand over a slightly


concave concrete pad. Drainage is provide from the
center of the pad to a sealed catch basin.
1.10

DESIGN

1.10.1

Stack shall be designed for full vacuum, when subject


to reduction of internal pressure below barometric
pressure during normal and/or mal-operation.

1.10.2

For maximum operating pressure upto and including


10 barg, stacks shall be designed for at least 1 bar
greater than the specified maximum operating pressure.

f.10.3

For maximum opera.Ling


pressure in excess of 10 barg
upto and including 35 barg, stacks shall be designed
for a pressure at least 10% greater than the specified
maximum
operating
pressure.

1.10.4

The maximum allowable working pressure shall be


limited by shell or head; not by minor parts such as
flanges, nozzle necks, reinforcing pads, etc.

t-11

DESIGN

1.11.1

Stacks which will operate at temperatures between 0C


and 4OO'C shall be designed for a temperature at least
14-C
above the maximum anticipated operating
temperature.

1.11.2

Stacks which will operate at temperatures


shall be designed for a temperature equal
maximum
anticipated,
temperature.

L.11.3

Stacks which will operate at temperatures between O'C


and -10-C shall normally be designed for the minimum
anticipated operating temperature.

4.11.4

When different metal temperature can definitely be


predicted to occur for different zones of a stack, the
design of the differer,t
zones my be based on their
predicted temperature.

L.12

DESIGN

1.12.1

From loading listed in ASME,


Section VIII, those
coming on the stack shall be considered at design
stages.
All combinations of loads shall be considered to
determine the maximum design stress conditions as
follows:
a)

AND

ALLOWABLE

WORKING

PRESSURE

TEMPERATURE

above 400-C
to the

LOADS

Hvdrostatic
test loads shall be considered
simultaneously with 20% of wind load, and not
coincident with snow and earthquake (.seismic)
loads.

FLARE STllCK
PAGE 20 OF 30
bi

4.12.2

Earthquake loads shall not be considered,


simultaneously with wind loads.

Beside wind or seismic loads, in case that other


such as listed below be of significance for the
purpose of stack design, those shall also be
considered.
3)
b)

C)

Erection
loads:
The loading to cover

loads

during

loads

construction.

Overhaul
loads:
The maximum maintenance loading conditions
including hydrotesting of pipes and equipments
partial loading for equipment loading.
Normal loads:
Operating loads
seismic loads.

coincident

with

climatic

and

or

d)

Conversion unit upsets:


Conditions of normal operation plus the loads
imposed by the weight of content that can build up
inside stack or piping covered by a sudden
stoppage of flow at any point in the system.

e)

Eccentric
loads:
If the exact eccentric loading is not known an
eccentric moment equal to a minimum of.lO% stack
shell weight multiplied by the maximum outside
shell radius plus 600 mm (24") shall be used.

4.12.3

The effects of external primary mechanical loads plus


design pressure shall be investigated, and the
resulting combined stresses shall not exceed the
limits that will produce yielding or buckling of the
pressure shell or heads.

4.12.4

The effects of stresses due to differential


expansion shall be investigated.

4.12.5

Support skirts shall be designed with adequate


flexibility to prevent excessive localized stresses
due to differential thermal expansion.

4.13

STATIC

thermal

DEFLECTION

The maximum allowable stack deflection is l/200


of the
total height. The static deflection is based on full
design wind load.

NATIONAL PETROCI-IEMICAL
STANDARDS
t-14

DYNAMIC

CO.

WCS-ES-w-04

FLARE STACK

PAGE 21 OF

30

ANALYsIS

Stacks shall be checked for wind-induced vibrations


with good engineering practice. The designer shall
make sure that such vibrations are precluded and/or
provisions are made to increase the resisting strength
of the stack.
When vortex shedding due to wind
velocity is likely to occur, provisions such as wind
strn1res, shall be made to prevent over-stress/
excessive
deflection/resonance
and
other
failure
modes.
2.15

ALLOWABLE

STRESS

1.15.1

The maximum allowable stress valve is the maximum unit


stress permitted in a given material used in a vessel
The maximum allowable
constructed under these rules.
tensile stress valves permitted for different
materials are given in the table stated in part UG-23
of ASME, Section VIII, Division 1.

2.15.2

The maximum allowable longitudinal compressive stress


to be used in design of cylinderical
shells or tubes,
either seamless or butt-welded, subjected to loadings
that produce longitudinal compression in the shell or
tube shall be the smaller of the valves stated in part
UG-23 of ASME,
Section VIII, Division 1.

t.15.3

The wall thickness of a stack computed by these rules


shall be determined such that any combination of
loading listed in part UG-22 of ASME Code or part 3.4
of this standard, that are expected to occur
simultaneously during normal operation of the stack
will induce a maximum general primary membrane stress
which doesn't. exceed the maximum allowable stress
value from the tables in subsection C of ASME Code.
Except where limited by special rules which stated in
part UG-23 of ASME,
Section VIII, Division 1.

1.15.4

The maximum allowable stress values that are to be


used in the thickness calculations are to be taken
from the tables at the temperatures which is expected
to be maintained in the metal under the conditions of
loading being considered.

1.15.5

For

La15.6

For allowable bearing


NPCS-ES-ST-01.

allowable

anchor

bolt

stress,

pressure

on

see

NPCS-ES-ST-06.

concrete

see

NATIOMAL

PlZTROWlZMICAL
STANDARDS

STACK

FLARE

CO.

NITS-ES-P"-04

STACK

PAGE22

(0

OF 30

THICKNESS

'The design thickness, in accordance with the specified


code, shall not include any material used for applied
corrosion resistant lining and also shall not include
any cladding material on integrally clad plate.
The minimum shell
corrosion allowance
and (b) below:
a)

Thickness

plate
shall

required

thickness for stacks excluding


be the greater of parts (a)

for

general

stability:

Internal diameter less than 1500 mm f.5.9")

: 6 mm

Internal diameter less than 2100 mm (8.3")

: 8 mm

Internal diameter less than 3600 mm t.14.2"):


Internal
12 mm
b)

Thickness

diameter

greater

required

This thickness
formula:
Transportation

is

for

should
Code.

3600

mm

(14.2"):

transportation:

obtained

thickness

The exact thickness


the formula of ASME

than

10 mm

be

from
0.003

the
*

calculated

following
diameter

(mm)

according

to

4.16.3

The thickness specified by the designer shall be the


minimum thickness after forming.
For torispherical or ellipsoidal heads the thickness
shall not be less than the adjacent shell thickness.
The thickness for knuckle section shall not be less
than the head or reducer section at point of
attachment.
Any conical head or reducer section, made
in more than one thickness, shall have the thickness
change in ~the cone section and not in the knuckle
section.

4.16.4,

Stacks with varying wall thickness shall be so


designed to resist all forces including wind, seismic,
pressure or dynamic conditions. These stacks may have
thicker shell plates for the lower courses, and the
plate thickness may decrease for courses at the higher
elevations.
The plate thicknesses indicated must be
maintained, except that heavier plate may be extended
more than specified, in order to use standard widths
of plates.
Similar increase in the width of a thick
section may also be made for stacks which have thicker
plates in zones of high temperature operation.

Nl\'rIONhL PETROCIUXICAL
STfWDARDS
NOZZLE COUPLItiGS
4.17.1

CO.

FLARE

NPCS-ES-w-04

STACK

PAGE 23 OF 30
AND PLANGES

All nozzles over 38 mm (1 l/2") shall be flanged.


Connections 38 mm (1 l/Z") and smaller may be made with
forged steel couplings.
Such connections shall be limited to stack for which
the design pressure and temperature is less than
41 bar and 232'C
respectively.
Couplings shall be
6000 psi rating for 25 mm (1") connections i3/4" may
only be used exceptionally) and 3000 psi for 38mm
(:l l/2") connections.
Couplings shall not be used in
lined portions of alloy lined stack on bottom heads of
Threaded fittings or tapped holes are not
stack.
permitted.
The minimum size of nozzles shall be 25 mm
except
that for alloy lined nozzles the minimum
(1");
size is 38 mm (1 l/2"). For stack in hydrogen service,
minimum size connection shall be 25 mm (1") and all
connections shall be flanged.

.17.2

Rolled plate nozzle necks and reinforcing pads shall


be the same material as specified for the stack shell
or head to which they are attached.

.17.3

Flanges shall be of forged steel, of a type conforming


to NPC piping standard and stack drawings. This
applies also to blind flanges.
Forged steel slip-on flanges may be used for 150# ANSI
nozzles where the design temperature is under 260C.

.17.4

The dimensional specifications and the pressure


temperature rating of nozzles and manhole flanges
shall be in accordance with ANSI B 16.5 Steel pipe
flanges and flanged fittings, latest addition.

-17.5

In special cases where non-standard flanges are


specified outside the scope of ANSI B 16.5 or API
Standard 605, these shall be calculated in accordance
with ASME Code, Section VIII, and per Appendix II
"Rules for bolted flange connections".

.1?.6

Flanges
without

.17.7

For blind flanges, corrosion


same as that of the vessel.

.17.8

Lap-joint flanges are allowed for Stainless Steel


vessels with a design pressure not higher than 5 bar
and a design temperature not higher than 23O'C.

fabricated from plate


written
approval.

may

not

allowance

be
shall

substituted
be

the

NATIONAL

PETROCHEMICAL
STANDUDS

CO.

FLARE

STACK

NPCS-ES-PV-04
PAGE

24 OF 30

1.17.9

The finish of the gasket contact surface of stack


nozzle flange facing shall conform to ANSI B 16.5 and
MSS Standard SP-6 and shall be consistent with the
specification of the connecting piping. Manhole and
handhole
flange facing shall be similar to nozzles in
the same section of the stack.

1.17.10

Manholes for design pressures not over 3.5 bar and


design temperature not over 150C may be of built up
plate.

1.17.11

Drain connections or other connections which may be


used as drains shall be trimmed flush with the inside
of the stack. All other connections may project
internally up to the extent required for welding, but
the projection of nozzles within tray areas,if
any,
shall not be such as to interfere with tray
installation or removal or flow is not unduly
restricted.

L.17.12

Nozzle necks having a heavier thickness than the


thickness of hub at the small end of welding neck
flange shall have the inside diameter tapered at a 3:l
ratio by machining or grinding unless the thickness
difference is 0.8 mm (0.03") or less, in which case the
sharp shoulder may be removed with a grinder after
welding.
This requirement is also applicable at the
joint of welding fitting to pipe. When drawings or
specifications, as will be specified, require that all
inside diameters match, special fittings with matched
bores shall be used.

: . 17.13

All code requirements must be met regarding minimum


nozzle neck thickness including the thickness of hub
at the small end of welding neck flange, and nozzle
reinforcement.

: . 17.14

When
they

the inside diameters


shall be maintained.

of

nozzles

are

specified

NATIONAL PE'I'ROCHEh1ICN.
STIVJDARDS

MAm2IALs

CO.

NPCS-ES -PV -Oh 0

FLAKE STACK

PAGE 25 OF 30

0F C ONSTRUCTION

The following table outlines materials of construction


for different components of the flare system.
COMPONENT

MATERIAL

OF

CONSTRUCTION

Piping &

up to-29C

Conventional Carbon Steel

Knockout drum

up to-46'C

Special low temp Carbon


Steel

-100C &
below

18-8 Stainless Steel

Above
4OO'C

High temperature resistant


alloy

Stack
Bottom Section

Gunite line (cemented for


corrosion resistance)

Burner tips about 3 m


(10 ft)

Stainless Steel line with


refractories

Section up to 6 m
(20 ft) below burner
tips

Nigh temperature resistant


refractories

Other sections of the


stack

Special low temperature


Carbon Steel

Structural members,
hardware and boltings

Should be hot dip


galvanized after
fabrication

.2

Materials used in the construction of welded stack


shall be proven of good weldable quality.
Ststisfactory qualification of the welding procedure
under Section IX ASME Code, shall be considered.

.3

Two materials of different specifications may be


joined by welding provided the requirements of Section
IX, QW-250, ASME Code, are met.

.4

Materials joined by electroslag welding shall be


limited to ferritic steels and the following
austenitic Steels which are welded to produce a
ferrite containing weld metal: SA-240 TP-304,
TP-304L,TP-316, and TP-316L; SA-182 F-304, F-304L,
F-316, and F-316L; SA-351 CF3, CF3A, CF3M, CF8, CFBA

WI

NATIONAL

.5

Materials are.specified
by ASTM numbers or ASME
numbers.
ASTM specification numbers are prefixed by
'A' and corresponding ASME
specification numbers are
prefixed by 'SA'. Stack materials shall be in
accordance with ASME
specification and/or BS-4076
(specification for steel chimneys).

.6

As a minimum requirement all materials used


design of stack components shall be boiler
fully killed and normalized.

.I

Materials conforming to other standard specifications,


such as JIS, DIN or BS equivalent to those specified
are acceptable with client's approval.
Equivalent
material specifications are those that conform to
chemistry, mechanical properties, quality, testing and
In any case allowable material stresses
inspection.
shall be based on ASME requirements and not on the
original
standard
requirements.

.8

For Hydrogen service the selection of material shall


be based on Nelson chart in API-941, beside ASME
requirements.
Materials of non-pressure parts welded
direc-tly
to pressure parts in Hydrogen service should
be exactly the same as pressure parts.

.9

No Carbon Steel part to be welded shall have a Carbon


content higher than 0.23%.

* 10

For each and every service specified, the material


selected shall be suitable for that service. Also due
care shall be taken for selec-tion
of material as far
as other factors such as temperature, pressure, stress
corrosion, erosion corrosion, crevice corrosion, and
pitting corrosion are concerned.

.11

Where Carbon Steel is specified for steel plates of


heads, shells and other pressure parts, SA 285 Grade C
is the minimum quality acceptable subject to
provisions of 5.6 above.

.12

Material for rings, and upper one meter of support


skirts welded directly to the stack, shall be the same
material as the stack.

COnROSION

in the
quality,

ALLOWANCE

The specified corrosion allowance shall be added to


all pressure containing parts of the stack coming in
contact with the service fluid including shell, heads,
nozzles, manholes and manhole covers.

--

NATIONAL PETROCIIEh4ICA.L
STANDARDS

CO.

F'IAFE

STACK

NPCS-ES-PV-04
PAGE 27 OF 30

.2

For compartments the specified corrosion allowance


shall be added to the thickness of each side of the
internal head or partition.

.3

Concrete lined stacks shall have the corrosion


allowance which will be specified on stack drawing.

.4

Corrosion allowance on removable internal parts,


be half the stack corrosion allowance applied to
pipe and plate surfaces.

.5

Corrosion
shall be

.6

Corrosion allowance for nozzles and manways


shall be
at least equal to that specified for the stack itself.
For general requirements see part UG-25, ASME,
Section
VIII, Division 1.

JOINT

shall
all

allowance on non-removable internal parts


at least twice the stack corrosion allowance.

EFFICIENCY

The joint efficiency depend on the type of joint and


the degree of examination of the joints.
Part UW-12 and table UW-12, Section VIII, Division 1,
of ASME Code give the joint efficiency, "E" to be used
in the formula of ASME Code.

NOISE

POLLUTION

Noise pollution from flares has for too long been an


inconvenience, accepted in petrochemical plants as an
inevitable by product of the flaring process.
It has
been established that the major individual source of
noise from an elevated flare is usually at the flare
tip itself. This is especially true when the flare
tip is of the type used for smokeless flaring of
hydrocarbon gases utilizing steam injection.
Basically, noise is created because of two reasons:
steam energy losses at the high pressure steam
injectors, and unsteadiness in the combustion process.
Ground flares are normally quieter than elevated
flares.
This is probably due to the fact that the
flame contained inside a box is protected from wind
effects and the stabilizing effect of the heat
reradiated from the refractory walls reduces the
random
characteristics
of
combustion.

~h'r10MAL

PETROCI-IEhiIChL
STANDARDS

Co.

The walls themselves will absorb some of the sound


Sophisticated designs of flare tips have
energy.
greatly reduced the noise pollution.
In some designs,
combustion efficiency has been greatly increased by
remixing of air with gas before they are combusted.
Steam is also premixed with air and gas before gases
Some of the turbulent noise
leave the flare tip.
energy is thus shielded by the tip itself.

STRESS

RELIEF,

WINTERIZING,

AND

CONTROLS

The major stresses to which the discharge piping of a


relief system is subject are results of thermal
strains from entry of cold oz hot gases. Temperature
fluctuatiops
are normally very wide.
In the majority of situations it is usually possible
to maintain stress levels within allowable limits over
the full temperature range by providing an expansion
joint or expansion with a cold or hot spring. Special
attention to stresses is recommended where piping
constructed of Carbon Steel is used for metal
temperatures as low as -46'(-50'F).
Design of discharge piping requires careful dnalysis
of the possible thermal and mechanical stresses
imposed on the pressure-relief valves. Proper
anchors, supports and provision for flexibility of
discharge piping can prevent these stresses.
Winterizing of the flare system depends upon the
severity of ambient temperatures.
It is a normal
practice to slope the flare headers toward the
knock-out drum 6.4 mm (l/4") per 3 m (10 ft.) of run.
This enables condensate to flow back into the knock-out
drum, thereby reducing the possibility of a pipe freeze
up due to lengthy exposure to low ambient temperature.
Knock-out drums are usually provided with a submerged
steam heater in order to prevent freezing. Where a
water seal is used, a similar arrangement is
warranted.
In some cold climate areas, flare headers
containing water are steam traced and insulated.

NATIONAL

.3

1?ETROCHIMCAL
STANDIWDS

The
are

FLARE

CO.

STACK

NPCS-ES

-PV -04 0

PAGE 29 OF 30

major areas
as follows:

requiring

instrumentation

and

controls

a)

To ensure smokeless burning, a suitable control


system is provided to regulate steam injection
into the flare tip. Normally a flow sensor is
provided on the main flare header. The flow
sensor is designed to pass, with a predetermined
back
pressure, the maximum smokeless rate of the
This is in ratio control with steam flow.
flare.

b)

Thermocouples are provided for the pilots


connected to an alarm in the control room.

cl

An Oxygen analyzer with an alarm is normally


provided to indicate the presence of the air or
Oxygen in the flare system.

d)

The knock-out drum is level-controlled in order to


maintain a constant level for providing a seal and
to prevent the pump from running dry.

SIZING

PIPING,

HEADERS

AND

VALVES

The sizing of flare piping is primarily based on


pressure drop calculations for compressible fluid
flow.
A nomograph based on Lapple's method is especially
designed for the sizing of flare systems, i.e., flare
header, upstream and downstream piping, as well as
safety and relief valves.
Sufficiently accurate
results are obtained for normal design work. For
applications not covered by the nomograph or for
higher
accuracy, calculations can be made using a
simplified form of lapple's
equation.
Sizing flare piping involves the calculation of the
capacity or size of a pipeline and the upstream and
downstream pressures.

INLET

AND

DISCHARGE

PIPING

The nominal size of inlet piping is the same as or


greater than the nominal size of the valve inlet
flange.
In addition, it is recommended that the
maximum pressure loss, including the inlet loss, be
not greater than 3% of the set pressure of the safety
valve.

NATIONAL PETROCBEbiICAL

CO.

STANDARDS

FLARE

STACK

WCS-ES-W-04
PAGE

30

OF

0
30

Similarly, the nominal size of the discharge pipe


should be as large as or larger than the nominal size
Sometimes it may be necessary to
of the valve outlet.
increase the pipe size ndt only to limit the pressure
drop, but also to avoid high vapor velocities.
STEAM

LINE

Complying with theoretical steam requirements for


smokeless flaring may require using an impractically
large size steam line.
For practical reasons,
therefore, the size of the steam line is usually
limited to one-sixth of the stack diameter. This
means that during maximum emergency flaring the flame
will not be smokeless.
PURGE

GAS

LINE

Fuel gas for purging is preferably introduced into the


main flare, header upstream. Requirements
are
readily
estimated.
One or more 19 mm (3/4") fuel gas lines may
be required, particularly for start-up purging.
In start-up it is desirable to purge the headers with
fuel gas to remove the air prior to igniting the
pilots at the flare tip. The purge time should be at
least V/cfh hr, where V is the total volume of headers
(cubic feet), including knockout drum and flare stack,
and cfh is the flow rate of fuel gas (,cubic feet per
hour).
11.3

VAPOR

LINE

SIZING

The design chart can also be conveniently used for


vapor line sizing in general. Frequently, pipelines
are sized on the basis of vapor velocity or pressure
drop AP/Pl (orAP) per 30 m (100 ft). If the mass flow
rate, molecular weight and temperature of the vapor are
given, the proper line size can be readily selected.