Key Considerations in Fugitive Emissions Reduction

Fugitive emissions present other risks and hazards. Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as benzene from oil refineries and chemical plants pose a long‐term health risk to workers and local communities. In situations where large amounts of flammable liquids and gases are contained under pressure, leaks also increase the risk of fire and explosion. Fugitive emissions can also include ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (CFCs, HCFCs, etc.)

The full scope of fugitive emissions is not known. Emissions are minute but widespread, making quantifying amounts difficult. Most greenhouse gas emissions emitted are CO2, followed by CH4, N2O, and others. It is believed that 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions emanate from hard-to-abate industries including transport, steel, cement, fertilizers, and petrochemicals. These emissions usually occur in one of two categories: heavy industry and heavy-duty transport.

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