The goal for all oil and gas production facilities is to have zero fugitive emissions. This is impossible but reducing the unnecessary fugitive emissions to zero is possible with planning and correct production equipment selection. Sand separators are a critical piece of early production equipment and every time the sand is removed from these vessels’ fugitive emissions are created. In order to reduce the unnecessary fugitive emissions horizontal or low angle Desanders have shown better performance over vertical or spherical sand separators as they have a larger sand holding capacity resulting in fewer blowdowns and unnecessary fugitive emissions.
For 1 m3 (264.2 gallons) of sand stopped by each Sand Separator the Vertical geometry would produce 72% of the Carbon of the spherical vessel while the horizontal Desander would produce 26% of the spherical and the low angle tilt would produce 11%.
To optimize the process further, a scale system should be paired with the horizontal or low angle Desander so that the Desander is only blown down when needed to further reduce fugitive emissions.
Download the full study here: https://www.onepetro.org/conference-paper/SPE-196142-MS