Refinery Fenceline Emission Monitoring

Beacon is leading the industry in the development and analysis of passive sampling techniques using adsorbents and is the first laboratory to receive accreditation for EPA Method 325, which is the analytical method required by the EPA to target emissions of benzene around the perimeter ofpetroleum refineries.

Beacon is also the first field sampling and measurement organization to receive accreditation for the collection of sorbent tubes in accordance with EPA Method 325.

Monitoring of benzene emissions with this method became mandatory for refineries in early 2018 and Beacon is working with multiple refineries across the country by providing the highest quality and most reliable data for monitoring and decision-making when exceedances are identified.

Beacon provides thermally conditioned, passive sorbent tubes and analytical services in support of VOC emission monitoring at the boundaries of facilities, with a focus on supporting refineries' sampling programs. Beacon works with strategic partners to provide full service support in developing a quality sampling program to measure Benzene, but has the exerience to passively target other compounds, including 1,3-butadiene and other VOC hydrocarbons, when requested.  The sampling protocol using passive sorbent tube samplers is in compliance with EPA regulations and EPA Method 325. 

In accordance with EPA Method 325, sorbent tubes are placed at multiple stations around the perimeter of the facility for two-week sampling intervals.  Following each two-week period, the set of sorbent tubes are retrieved, capped, and shipped to Beacon for analysis while another set of sorbent tubes are placed at each station. This process allows for on-going monitoring of emissions from the facility.  Additional data are collected including meteorological information.  The samples are thermally desorbed and analyzed using gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (GC/MS) instruments to provide low detection limits with high quality data reported in ug/m3 and ppbv.

The use of sorbent tubes provides the following benefits:

  • low detection limits
  • high accuracy and precision
  • collect samples over multiple days or weeks
  • easy-to-use
  • no pumps required
  • low profile
  • works in high moisture conditions

The following publications are available to describe requirements for sampling and procedures for collecting and analyzing sorbent tubes.