EghtesadOnline: To collect toxic emissions, the first stage of a plan to recover gasoline vapor has been completed in all (3,400) filling stations across the country, head of the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) said.
“Stage I gasoline vapor recovery systems capture vapors expelled from underground storage tanks at gas stations when being refilled by tankers,” Keramat Veiskarami was quoted as saying by the Oil Ministry news portal.
Equipment for stage I vapor recovery includes fittings for gasoline storage tanks to accommodate vapor recovery hoses from the tank truck and pressure vacuum vent valves to minimize the loss of vapor from the storage tank vents.
Gasoline vapor recovery systems are implemented under two stages, he said.
Stage II that is now underway nationwide includes installation of special fuel dispensing nozzles at the pumps. Stage II capture gasoline vapor that would otherwise be vented during individual vehicle refueling at gas stations, he noted.
While refueling, vapor is pushed out of the vehicle's gas tank by the inflowing fuel. The vapor is then captured by the special nozzle and directed into the underground storage tanks where they are recycled with the help of vapor recovery units (VRU), a kind of high-tech, energy saving and environmentally advanced technology.
The NIOPDC chief said vapor losses can vary widely depending on local weather conditions, frequency of gasoline deliveries, and the volume of gasoline sold at the station.
Close to 80 million liters of gasoline is sold in Iran per day and 240,000 cubic meters of (gasoline) vapor is emitted into the atmosphere.
Collecting the vapor (240,000 cubic meters) can help produce as much as 360,000 of fuel per day (with the help of VRUs).
“Vapor recovery systems can reduce air pollution, save money by conserving gasoline that would be lost into the air and protect public health by reducing inhalation of toxic gasoline vapors.”
Gasoline vapors accumulate in automobile and truck tanks, above the liquid level. When the tanks are filled, the rising liquid forces the vapors to seek an escape route. When a conventional nozzle is used, the displaced vapors flow out around the nozzle spout and go into the air. When thousands of vehicles are refueled the escaping vapors add significantly to air pollution.
Referring to installation of VRUs in fuel depots, the official noted that the system is already in place in storage facilities namely Tehran, Karaj, Bandar Abbas, Tabriz, Mashhad, Arak, Ahvaz and Esfahan.
The system in Tehran, Karaj and Esfahan help recover 16,000 cubic meters of vapor, which then is converted into 24,000 liters of gasoline.
In Bandar Abbas, Tabriz, Mashhad, Arak, Ahvaz, the system helps collect 17,000 cubic meters of vapor on a daily basis, which then is used to produce 25,000 liters of gas.
The official believes that due to the low quality of domestically-manufactured car engines, daily gasoline consumption is over and above the global average.
There are 20 million cars in Iran and 8 million motorcycles which consume as much gasoline as needed by 30 million cars.
Improving the quality of cars can help curb consumption by at least 19 million liters/day.
Nonetheless, it has been decades that carmakers have been oblivious to this simple fact mainly because there are more than enough customers for their clunkers with engines going back decades.
Based on latest data, there are 320,000 cabs plying the streets across Iran, over half of which should have long been assigned to the scrap yard.
Intercity buses and the subway are old and inefficient, and during rush hours it is difficult to get in or out. However, policymakers hardly forget to remind the people that “gasoline is very cheap and so long as prices do not rise” the burning and wasting will continue.