Congratulations to FlareNet’s Graduate Nicolas Brooker on the successful defense of his M.Sc. thesis

The FlareNet Network has had another student graduate with a M.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering at Carleton University. Congratulations to Nicolas (Nick) Brooker and his supervisor Professor Matthew Johnson.

Nick’s research investigates the benzene destruction removal efficiency (DRE) and black carbon (BC) emissions when using flaring as an emissions control mechanism for glycol dehydrators. Glycol dehydrators, used to remove water vapour from raw natural gas, are a significant source of benzene emissions (a known human carcinogen).  Experiments were performed in which fuel mixtures representative of glycol dehydrator still vent gas, plus other manipulated compositions, were combusted in a flare.  In quiescent conditions the DRE of benzene was nearly 100%, but the presence of benzene increased BC yields. 

Nick Brooker’s research poster, presented at PTAC Methane Conference in Banff, Alberta November 2018

Considering data for Alberta, Canada, flaring could potentially reduce benzene emissions by a factor of 1000, but would increase total BC emissions from all flaring by ~56%.  BC emissions could be partially mitigated by adding methane to the still gas mixture prior to flaring.  Further work is recommended to investigate the effects of crosswinds on the benzene DRE in a flare.

Nick is currently employed as a fuel analyst for C.A.T. Transports at their head office in Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec.