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Zero-emission technologies for pneumatic controllers in the USA

January 31, 2022 Category: Industry, Technology Work Area: Methane

A pneumatic controller is a device that monitors certain process variables such as temperature, pressure liquid level, etc., and generates an output signal to drive a control element, such as a control valve. Natural gas driven pneumatic controllers are used widely in the oil and gas industry. These devices release methane into the atmosphere, either continuously or intermittently.

In 2016, Carbon Limits was tasked to assess the applicability and cost effectiveness of zero emission controllers suitable for the oil gas industry. Since 2016, significant progress has occurred both in zero emissions technologies and regulations promoting the transition from natural gas driven pneumatic controllers to zero-emission controllers. The provinces of Alberta and British Columbia in Canada and the state of Colorado in the United States have implemented regulations encouraging and requiring the installations of zero-emission controllers.

This report presents advancements in the zero-emission controller technologies presented in the 2016 report, and newer technologies suitable in this context.