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Providence Patent Award Refinery Infrared Image Hydrocarbon Leak Detection

Home Forums Refining Community Refinery News Providence Patent Award Refinery Infrared Image Hydrocarbon Leak Detection

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  • #2115

    Freddy Martinez

    Providence Awarded Patent for Automatic Image Processing for Leak Detection

    Press Release Source: Providence On Wednesday September 28, 2011, 5:43 pm EDT
    BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Providence today announces the receipt of a United States Patent No. 8,009,932 B2 for Automatic Alignment of Video Frames for Image Processing. Liming Zhou, PhD, and Yousheng Zeng, PhD, PE, at Providence are the inventors of this system. Dr. Zeng explains, “This technology was developed to enable a new way of detecting hydrocarbon leaks from process equipment in order to reduce safety risks and minimize air pollution.

    The current common method of leak detection requires a technician to manually ‘sniff’ individual process components such as flanges using handheld instruments. This method is widely used to comply with EPA Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) regulations, but is very labor intensive due to a large number of components at a refinery or chemical plant that must be checked on a quarterly basis.

    The industry has been working with the EPA to develop a new method called ‘Smart LDAR’. Smart LDAR uses a special Infrared (IR) camera that can ‘see’ the hydrocarbon vapors that otherwise are not visible. Smart LDAR allows a technician to check a much larger number of components in a day. Providence has developed a more advanced approach that uses computer image processing to replace human eyes behind the IR camera. The new approach is called the Third Generation LDAR (or LDAR3). This patent is one of the enabling technologies for LDAR3.”

    This patent, along with past and current air quality monitoring projects, supports the pioneering of new technologies and their application to environmental measurement and compliance, strengthening Providence’s presence in the air quality monitoring and process safety arena.
    The Providence family of companies provides professional services including environmental permitting and compliance, technology, public affairs, planning, security and infrastructure protection as well as the full range of architectural and engineering-surveying services.

    The Providence culture highlights flexibility and diversity in an effort to fulfill employee career aspirations and continually expand services and service areas. Providence delivers exceptional customer service and cost-effective solutions to our industrial and governmental clients, both in the continental U.S. and overseas. For more information visit

  • #4910


    Here is update on Porvidence patent on its new Infrared Image Hydrocarbon Leak detection in Refinery & Petchem plants.

    It sounds like this is just an improvement / upgrade to existing systems but could also be new technology. Either way sounds
    like big safety improvement and way for mor frequent monitoring of dangerous HC leaks. (Especially around Reformers & H2 sources which are especially hard & dangerous to detect).


  • #4909


    The infrared monitors are already on the market. Looks like this is just a system that lets the computer read the screen instead of operator visually checking.

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