The Ins and Outs of a Vapor Recovery System

Published On April 13, 2023

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Proper vapor recovery is no small matter, with a global market worth $787 million in 2022 alone. Industrial companies of all kinds need to understand the ins and outs of this equipment.

There are several benefits of using a vapor recovery system at your facility. Still, there are a lot of components and maintenance concerns to consider.

That's where this article can help. Detailed below is everything you need to know about using a vapor recovery unit. Keep reading to get familiar with this essential part of industrial operations.

Components of a Vapor Recovery System

A vapor recovery system has three main components. They include a vapor recovery unit (VRU), piping, and a control system.

The VRU is the most important part of the system because it captures the vapors. It creates a vacuum that sucks the vapors from the storage tank or transport vehicle through pipes. The VRU then condenses the vapors back into a liquid form.

The piping connects the VRU to the storage tank or transport vehicle. It's usually made of steel and has valves that can be opened and closed. These are crucial to controlling the flow of vapors.

The control system is used to monitor and control the entire vapor recovery system. It includes sensors that detect the level of vapors in the storage tank or transport vehicle. It has a computer that controls the VRU and the valves in the piping.

The control system also includes alarms that will sound if there is a problem with the system. In this way, it can quickly inform workers if there's a leak or a malfunction.

Types of Vapor Recovery Systems

There are two types of vapor recovery systems: Stage I and Stage II. Stage I systems capture vapors during the refueling of gasoline storage tanks.

They prevent vapors from escaping into the atmosphere during gasoline delivery to a service station. Stage I systems use a vacuum-assisted system to recover those vapors during fuel delivery.

Stage II systems capture vapors from the fuel tank itself. They also collect the fumes from the vehicle fueling process at gasoline service stations.

In this way, they reduce emissions from the gasoline service station's fueling activities as people use them. The government has enacted specific regulations for Stage II systems. Their purpose is to promote sustainability and safety.

The captured gasoline vapors are then transported to an underground storage tank. They're stored here until they can be recovered and processed.

Both Stage I and Stage II systems are effective in reducing air pollution. They both are essential for protecting the environment.

They help to prevent the release of harmful chemicals into the atmosphere for the sake of everyone's safety. They're the best systems we have to ensure that fuel is delivered and dispensed safely.

How to Buy One

Brand-new vapor recovery systems do exist. However, they can cost quite a bit, and used options are widely available.

There are two main ways to buy a used vapor recovery system: through auctions or online marketplaces. Auctions can be a good option if you're looking for a bargain. Still, you'll need to do your research beforehand.

Online marketplaces also offer used vapor recovery systems. Be sure to check the seller's reputation, though. Reading the reviews from previous customers can provide key insight before making a purchase.

Before buying a used vapor recovery system, there are several factors to consider. First, you'll need to determine the system's size and whether it will fit your needs.

You'll also need to consider the system's age, condition, and maintenance history. Ask the seller for documentation of any repairs or upgrades to the system.

Buying a used vapor recovery system can be cost-effective. With this route, you can still reduce emissions and protect the environment. That being said, it's essential to do your research and carefully consider your options before making a purchase.

The Cannabis Industry

In the cannabis world, extraction equipment often incorporates vapor recovery systems. They're an important tool for responsible business practices in the growing industry.

Cannabis extraction processes can release harmful chemicals into the air. So, vapor recovery systems are used to capture and condense these vapors.

The cannabis extraction process heats the plant material first. This process extracts valuable essential oils. As a result, we witness freshly released vapors from the plant.

These vapors contain terpenes, which give cannabis its distinctive aroma and flavor. However, terpenes can also harm the environment and human health when released into the atmosphere.

A proper vapor recovery solution can capture these vapors in a safe way. It can then condense them into a liquid form. This liquid can then be reused or sold.

By using a vapor recovery system, cannabis companies can reduce their environmental impact. It's a key way for them to protect the health of their employees and the surrounding community.

The Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas industry is no stranger to the need for reliable safety equipment. Extracting the oil and gas from the ground ends up releasing harmful gases and vapors. That's why companies in this field need vapor recovery systems.

These vapors contain hydrocarbons, which contribute to air pollution and climate change. Vapor recovery systems capture these vapors and condense them into a safer liquid form.

Other Industrial Companies

Many industries beyond the oil, gas, and cannabis industries can benefit from vapor recovery systems. Any industry that produces volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can benefit from a vapor recovery system.

Examples of industrial processes that produce VOCs include the manufacture of paints, coatings, and solvents. Chemical manufacturing processes can also produce VOCs.

The use of vapor recovery systems is an important tool for promoting sustainability for these companies. In some cases, it also ensures they can meet the regulatory requirements.

Environmental Impact

Vapor recovery systems have a positive impact on the environment thanks to all of these listed industries. They go a long way in reducing the dangerous greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global climate change.

These systems not only protect the health and safety of people in the surrounding community. They also contribute to a better environment and the health of communities around the world.

Maintenance and Repair

Regular maintenance and inspections are critical for ensuring the proper functioning of vapor recovery systems. This includes routine inspections of the VRU, piping, and control system. With these practices, the systems can also last a lot longer.

Common maintenance tasks may include replacing filters. It can also mean checking valves and inspecting hoses for wear and tear.

Maintenance should be performed by trained professionals. They're more familiar with the system and its components.

If a problem arises with a vapor recovery system, take note. You must address it promptly to prevent further damage or downtime. Common problems may include leaks, clogs in the piping, or issues with the control system.

Repairs may involve replacing parts, repairing or replacing piping. Sometimes, it includes addressing issues with the control system itself.

Only have a qualified technician perform any necessary repairs. This is the only way to ensure the safety and proper functioning of the system.

Remembering Regulations

Regulatory compliance is an important consideration for industrial companies using these systems. There are a number of local, state, and federal regulations related to air quality and emissions control to comply with.

For example, in the United States, we have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It sets national standards for air quality, including regulations related to VOC emissions. Many states also have their own regulations related to air quality and emissions control.

Companies must ensure that their vapor recovery systems meet these regulatory requirements. This may involve working with a qualified engineer or consultant to design and install the system. Companies should also invest in regular monitoring and reporting to demonstrate compliance.

Failure to comply with these regulations can result in significant fines and penalties. It can even damage a company's reputation, which could negatively impact profits over time.

Considering Costs

Vapor recovery systems can be a significant investment for industrial companies. The initial cost of a system can vary depending on the size and complexity of the installation.

In addition, there are also ongoing operating costs to consider. These include energy consumption and maintenance. However, the benefits of reduced emissions and improved environmental compliance often offset these costs.

The return on investment (ROI) for a vapor recovery system will depend on a number of factors. Examples would be the size and complexity of the installation, the cost of energy, and the volume of VOCs that are captured and recovered.

In some cases, companies may be able to take advantage of tax incentives or other financial incentives. These are ideal to help offset the cost of installing a vapor recovery system.

Buying Your Vapor Recovery System

So many companies need a high-quality vapor recovery system during operations. If that includes your organization, you might worry about the cost of a brand-new one.

Fortunately, you can buy used industrial equipment like this unit online. That's where we can be of service. Contact us now to see if we have the vapor recovery unit you need at an affordable price.