During the flowback process at hydraulic fracturing sites, there is the potential for liquid aerosol carry-over into flared gases. This thesis investigates potential effects of non-hydrocarbon aerosols on emissions of lab-scale flares injected with industry-relevant aerosolized liquids (HCl and NaCl solutions). Effects of liquid concentration, droplet size, and liquid loading were compared to dry and distilled water base cases.
Generally, water and HCl caused relatively weak changes in species yields and particulate matter morphology. Conversely, NaCl solutions strongly affected species yields (25× increase in CO, 26% decrease in NOx) and optical properties of the emitted particulate. Results indicated that particulate emissions may have included stand-alone, high-scattering NaCl particles and light-absorbing particles such as internally mixed NaCl-soot.
Overall, results showed aerosols could profoundly affect lab-scale flares emissions, demonstrating the need for further investigation into potential alterations in flare emissions at conditions that may occur during flowback operations in the field.