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What is VOC Control?
VOC control is the process of controling and removing VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from various industries, such as the oil and gas industry. Several VOC removal (or VOC "control") technologies include;
Condensation and refrigeration
Volatile organic compounds or VOC's react with nitrogen oxides (NOx) to form ozone or o3 which is an air pollutant that causes smog, haze and breathing & respiratory problems for many people, particularly infants and the elderly. These conditions worsen as the temperature increases and why many urban areas and large cities are shrouded by smog on hot, summer days. Ozone is measured in large cities and "ozone warnings" may be issued warning those with respiratory problems to remain indoors on these ozone warning days.
Combustion of fossil fuels are the starting point where nitrogen oxides and therefore, smog or air pollution may be generated.
NOx emission sources include;
Gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment
Industrial coating operations
The EPA and states regulate VOC emissions by "VOC regulations" including "RACT" which stands for Reasonably Available Control Technology.
The EPA defines RACT as "the lowest level of emissions that can be achieved taking into account technical and economic considerations."
EPA's guidance on RACT is found in their "Control Technique Guidelines." Part of the EPA's responsibility is to review and comment on proposed State regulations on VOC emissions during the state's public hearing process to ensure that the state's new rules/regulations meet RACT's stringent guidelines in order to meet the state's emissions reductions. Once a particular state has adopted new VOC emissions regulations, the EPA approves the rule into the state's "State Implementation Plan" or SIP. At this point, the state's new VOC rule becomes enforceable by the EPA.
Hazardous Air Pollutants or "HAPs" are generally defined as those pollutants that are known or suspected to cause serious health problems. Section 112(b) of the Clean Air Act currently identifies a list of 188 pollutants as HAPs. EPA's ATW Web site presents more information on HAPs, their effects, and EPA's programs to reduce HAPs.
What are Volatile Organic Compounds?
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors.
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~ R. James Woolsey, Jr., former Director of the CIA
According to R. James Woolsey, for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, “The basic insight is to realize that global warming, the geopolitics of oil, and warfare in the Persian Gulf are not separate problems — they are aspects of a single problem, the West’s dependence on oil.”
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