Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 185, Issue 8, pp 6819–6830 | Cite as

Emission characteristics of VOCs from three fixed-roof p-xylene liquid storage tanks

  • Chungsying Lu
  • Hsiaoyun Huang
  • Shenteng Chang
  • Shihchieh Hsu


This study evaluates emission characteristics of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) caused by standing loss (L S) and working loss (L W) of three vertical fixed-roof p-xylene (p-X) liquid tanks during 1-year storage and filling operation. The annual net throughput of the tanks reached 70,446 t, resulting in 9,425 kg of p-X vapor emission including 5,046 kg of L S (53.54 %) and 4,379 kg of L W (46.46 %). The estimated L W of AP-42 displayed better agreement with the measured values of a VOC detector than the estimated L S of AP-42. The L S was best correlated with the liquid height of the tanks, while the L W was best correlated with the net throughput of the tanks. As a result, decreasing vapor space volume of the tanks and avoiding high net throughput of the tanks in a high ambient temperature period were considered as effective means to lessen VOC emission from the fixed-roof organic liquid storage tank.


AP-42 estimation Fixed-roof storage tank p-Xylene Standing losses Working losses 



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Environmental Protection Bureau, Taichung City Government, Taichung 403, Taiwan.



Tank diameter (feet)


Liquid height (feet)


Tank shell height (feet)


Vapor space outage (feet) (=H S − H L)


Daily total solar radiation (British thermal unit per square feet per day)


Vapor space expansion factor, dimensionless [=∆T V / T LA + (∆P V − ∆P B) / (P A − P VA)]


Working loss turnover (saturation) factor, dimensionless (=1)


Working loss product factor, dimensionless (for crude oils, K P = 0.75, for all other organic liquids, K P = 1)


Vented vapor saturation factor, dimensionless [=1 / (1 + 0.053P VA H VO)]


Standing storage loss (pounds)


Total loss (pounds)


Working loss (pounds)


Vapor molecular weight (=106.17 lb/lb mol)


Atmospheric pressure (=14.7 psia)


Breather vent pressure setting range (pounds per square inch absolute)


Daily vapor pressure range (pounds per square inch absolute) (=0.5 × 1474.4P VA × ∆T V / T LA 2)


Vapor pressure at average liquid surface temperature (mmHg) (log10 P VA = 7.02 − [1,474.40 / (T LA + 217.77)]), where T LA must be converted from °R to °C via [°C = (°R − 492) / 1.8]


Net throughput at each filling operation (barrel) (=42 gal)


The ideal gas constant, 10.731 psia ft3/lb mol · °R


Daily average ambient temperature (°R)


Liquid bulk temperature (°R) (=T AA + 6α − I)


Daily average liquid surface temperature (°R) (=0.44T AA + 0.56T B + 0.0079αI)


Daily ambient temperature range (°R)


Daily vapor temperature range (°R) (=0.72∆T A + 0.028αI)


Tank vapor space volume (cubic feet) (=πD 2 H VO / 4)


Stock vapor density (pond per cubic feet) (=M V P VA / RT LA)


Tank paint solar absorptance, dimensionless (=0.54)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chungsying Lu
    • 1
  • Hsiaoyun Huang
    • 1
  • Shenteng Chang
    • 1
  • Shihchieh Hsu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental EngineeringNational Chung Hsing UniversityTaichung City 402Taiwan

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