What is LDAR?

Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) is the process by which a facility locates and repairs leaking components, including valves, pumps, flanges and connectors, in order to reduce the emissions of fugitive volatile organic compounds (VOCs), like methane, and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), such as benzene. Left unmonitored and unaddressed, these leaks can have detrimental consequences for the environment and human health.

The leaks that are detected are called fugitive emissions, so named because they typically elude detection without specialised equipment. Nevertheless, the collective impact of these small leaks across numerous components can be substantial, and so repairing the leaks will result in a significant decrease in harmful gas emissions from the plant.

Detecting Emissions

In conventional LDAR programs, fugitive emissions are detected using organic vapor analyzers (OVAs) in a process known as “sniffing.” The OVA probe is positioned near the leak source to measure the concentration of hydrocarbons in the sampled atmosphere in parts per million (ppm). This enables the facility to identify components with significant leaks and prioritize their repair at the next available opportunity, thus making the most substantial impact on VOC reduction. Subsequently, the facility can establish specific criteria for defining emissions as leaks. For instance, a typical leak definition might set the threshold at 500 ppm, considering any reading above this value as a leak. This systematic approach allows the plant to concentrate its efforts on addressing those components effectively.

Emissions can also be detected using optical gas imaging (OGI) cameras. These cameras work on the principle of infrared (IR) imaging, but with a special filter enabling them to detect infrared energy within the waveband characteristic of hydrocarbons such as methane. This allows the camera to detect leaks too small for traditional infrared cameras. OGI cameras allow real-time visualisation leaks and are excellent for scanning large areas of plant to identify leaks quickly, including those in hard to reach locations. Although they cannot directly measure the size of the leak, there is quantification software available that can estimate the concentration of the emission. The integration of these techniques can enhance the efficiency of LDAR programs by rapidly identifying potential leaks through the camera and then precisely quantifying emissions once a leak is identified.

Quantifying Leaks

The quanitifcation and reporting of emissions are fundamental components of LDAR programs. To convert the measured leak concentrations, in parts per million (ppm), into mass flow rates, typically measured in kilograms per year (kg/year), industries utilise a series of correlations using data published by the EPA. These correlations provide a means to estimate the volume of emissions from leaks, aiding in environmental reporting and regulatory compliance, and allowing for more informed decision-making and targeted emission reduction efforts.

LDAR Applications

The LDAR process is essential to industries that handle VOCs and HAPs. This includes petrochemical, oil and gas, chemical manufacturing, pharmaceutical, waste management, manufacturing, and emerging sectors like biogas production. In recent years, Europe has witnessed the introduction of more stringent regulations governing LDAR practices. As a result, companies and facilities operating within the European Union are required to enhance their LDAR programs, employ advanced monitoring techniques, and implement more robust reporting and record-keeping procedures to ensure compliance with these rigorous new standards.


In conclusion, LDAR offers numerous advantages to industries and the environment. It helps mitigate the release of harmful VOCs and HAPs, safeguarding human health and reducing air pollution. By identifying and addressing fugitive emissions, LDAR promotes compliance with environmental regulations, minimises operational risks, and contributes to a more sustainable and responsible approach to industrial processes.

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High Temperature Sealing in Biomass Plants

The Phoenix Group has a long standing association with many landfill and biomass plants in the UK, providing Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) services and supplying gaskets and other sealing products.

One of these sites is a waste treatment facility in the central belt of Scotland which converts landfill gas to usable energy. This process involves extracting gas (methane), which is processed and pumped to gen set engines within a turbine house. These engines generate electricity, which is sold to the national grid.

The process is volatile, with process temperatures that operate beyond the limits of traditional gasket materials such as compressed fibre and graphite. Previous attempts to find a suitable gasket had failed, with the products failing before the engines could next be serviced.

Phoenix sealing were asked to offer a high temperature sealing solution for inlet and outlet flanges of the engine exhaust system that would offer long term, high integrity sealing. PG-Therm, a mica (phlogopite) based sealing material was offered, and successfully installed, adding approximately 300hrs extra running time between services with zero leakage.

For more information on PG-Therm, or on how our products and services can help with leak prevention and environmental compliance, please contact Dr Gavin Smith on 01246 209680 or info@phoenixsealing.co.uk

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Leak Detection in the Biogas Industry

Biogas is renewable energy source created when organic materials (plant and animal products) are broken down (eaten) by bacteria in an oxygen free environment, a process known as anaerobic digestion. This process occurs naturally in oxygen depleted places such as soils, landfill sites and marches, but it can also be reproduced under controlled and contained conditions in special tanks called anaerobic digesters.

Anerobic Digesters(AD) produce biogas by processing feedstock crops, manure, straw, food scraps, slurry and even sewage. The resultant gas contains roughly 50-70 percent methane, 30-40 percent carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of other gases. The material that is left after anaerobic digestion is called digestate, and can be used a fertiliser for crops. After biogas is captured, it can produce heat and electricity for use in engines, microturbines, and fuel cells. Biogas can also be upgraded into biomethane, also called renewable natural gas or RNG, and injected into natural gas pipelines or used as a vehicle fuel.

Methane leakage is a potential issue for many biogas plants. Fugitive methane emissions result from the biogas production process (the AD plant) and biogas utilisation processes (e.g. biogas combustion in CHP engines/boilers or from biogas upgrade systems in BtG plants). For this reason, leak detection surveys and reporting are now a requirement of the Environmental Agency permit scheme for Bio Gas facilities.

The Phoenix Group is the UK leader in the provision of leak detection surveys for the biogas production sector, and has a wealth of experience in helping facilities meet their environmental goals. We work throughout the UK on plants with a variety of technologies including biodigesters, waste recycling and landfill recovery. Our skilled and experienced technicians use a combination of optical gas imagining and organic vapour analysis to detect and quantify leaks, as well as offering assistance on minimising the leaks with repair strategies. If required our sealing experts can assist in ensuring the right gaskets and seals are being fitted in the application.

For more information contact Dr Gavin Smith on gsmith@phoenixsealing.co.uk

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Sales Coordinator Role

We are an expanding manufacturing company based in Chesterfield. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service and service support which has resulted in the expansion of our business. We are currently seeking a full time Sales Coordinator to join our team.

You will be responsible to the care and support of our clients and customers. Ensuring enquiries and orders are dealt with, and that they are aware of our new and existing products, and they are fully informed on significant developments. Efficiently answering price enquiries, stock availability and despatch times.

You must demonstrate a passion for excellence and excel in customer service, sales skills, and can communicate articulately and professionally.

Key responsibilities

To deal promptly, courteously, and efficiently with customer enquiries and orders. Regularly progress customers outstanding orders and effective dealing of all correspondence.

Calling new and existing customers to increase sales.

Key attributes

·Excellent communication skills

·Strong IT skills with a knowledge of Sage and Microsoft Office

·Must be able to work as part of a team but also show the skills to be able work unattended.

Main tasks

1.Processing orders using Sage 50. (Training can be provided)

2.Answering the telephone, dealing with customer enquiries, and raising quotes from the enquiries.

3.Liaising with suppliers about queries/orders.

4.Conduct tele-sales operations as directed.

5.Liaising with office staff members and helping with the admin duties of a busy sales office.

6.Be aware of the state of stock and materials received as an aid to selling. Stay connected with the warehouse regarding orders for various products.

7.Ensure that all operations are carried out in accordance with procedures set out in the Quality System.

Benefits include a target-based bonus scheme and being part of an organisation with progression opportunities.

Working Hours – 09.00 am to 17.00 pm Monday to Friday

1 Hour lunch

Salary £20k – £25k Depending on experience

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Christopher Mellows is made a Fellow member of the Chartered Management Institute

The Phoenix Group would like to congratulate Director of Zulu Joint Integrity & Training Ltd, Christopher Mellows, for recently becoming a Fellow member of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI).

The Chartered Management Institute is the only chartered professional body in the UK dedicated to promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence. Fellow grade is the highest grade of membership awarded by the institute and is only given to those who have demonstrated experience in leadership, performance-driven management, and are operating at the highest strategic level. It requires a management qualification at degree level/equivalent, and a minimum of 10 years’ management experience, three of which must be at a strategic level. This grade carries entitlement to use the designatory letters FCMI and is granted by a CMI Assessment Panel.

The Phoenix Group of Companies value Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as it is evidence of our competencies and experience within our respective group company services.

Well done Chris!


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Phoenix Welcome Zulu Joint Integrity to the Group

The Phoenix group is delighted to announce the acquisition of Zulu Joint Integrity, a UK based company specialising in the design, implementation and execution of flange management programs and bolted connection training.  The new addition means Phoenix are able to offer a complete package of leak detection, sealing solutions and joint integrity, as well as allowing expansion into new markets and territories.

Joint Integrity Management is the total package of services that provides the best possible chance for a plant to achieve a leak free start-up after a period of maintenance. Zulu programs address the issues associated with joint failure, managing every stage from engineering analysis of the joint through all the necessary work to closure and bolting, all with full documentation. In addition, Zulu offer training in line with global industry guidelines and legislation including BSEN1591-4:2013, ECITB MJI10/MJI11, ASME PCC-1:2013 and Energy Institute Guidelines. The focus is on ensure a safe and timely leak free start-up of process plant – particularly UK COMAH assets, but increasingly worldwide.

Zulu Joint Integrity was originally founded in 2009 by Christopher Mellows. The business is located at its headquarters in Bridgend, South Wales and has global operational capabilities within the oil & gas, petrochemical, steel, process and power generation industries.



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Innovative Sheet Gasket for High Temperatures and Pressures

Expanded Graphite is the most commonly used sealing material for high temperature applications. It is employed in the construction of a wide variety of styles including flat sheet gaskets, semi-metallic gaskets such as spiral wound, compressed valve packings and die pressed rings; it is the sealing material of choice for the refining, petrochemical and power industries.

When manufactured as sheet material, a reinforcement material is required to improve handleability. The reinforcement can be either metal foil, which is bound to the graphite with an adhesive, or tanged, which a perforated metal sheet that is mechanically bond to the graphite layers. While both forms are suitable for general industrial use, they cope less well in arduous conditions of high temperature and pressure; the user is then limited to semi-metallic gaskets for these applications which can be expensive, and are difficult to fabricate in complex shapes or in thin sections.

PG-ML is an innovative gasket sheet made ​​of several layers of stainless steel and high oxidation-resistant flexible graphite. The layers of graphite and stainless steel sheets are bonded to each other using a specialised adhesive free process and the outer layers are impregnated to reduce leakage and improves handling. The result is a product which is able to operate in conditions well beyond the scope of the traditional reinforced graphite gaskets. It can accommodate pressures of up to 250 bar and operating temperatures of  between -2500C to 5000C, and has improved handling and scratch resistance due to the special impregnation.

PG-ML finds applications in tongue and groove flanges, heat exchangers, sight glasses and O.E.M. equipment. It is also suitable for common pipework and vessel designs.  Its properties benefit the chemical, refining and nuclear industries, as well as OEMs such as pump, valve and turbocharger application.

For details contact Dr Gavin Smith, The Phoenix Group at gsmith@phoenixsealing.co.uk

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Water Industry Gaskets & Products

Phoenix is a leading supplier of gaskets to the water industry. Our range of WRAS approved seals are available from stock and are fully supported by our knowledgeable and friendly team who are always on hand to offer application advice.

There are three major products in our range:


A high quality elastomer with good physical properties that meets the requirements of BS 6920-1:2000 and BS EN 681-1 (cold potable water supply 23°C). The materials possess excellent ageing and ozone resistance and is the material of choice for the UK potable water industry.

EPDM (WRAS) is suitable as a gasket for both metallic and non-metallic flanges to a working pressure rating of 16 bar. Maximum operating temperature is typically 100°C.


A WRAS approved, premium grade of compressed fibre sheet material based on aramid and inorganic fibres with a high quality nitrile binding system. The material meets the requirements of BS 7531 Grade X and has outstanding mechanical properties and excellent temperature resistance. As well as potable water, it is suitable for many fluids including hydrocarbons, steam, gases, dilute acids and alkalis.

PG-X is suitable for metallic flanges to a working pressure of over 60 Bar and a maximum operating temperature in excess of 200°C (operating temperatures and pressures are dependent on application).

PG-X Technical Datasheet


An economic, general purpose gasket material, approved by WRAS for use with drinking water. Suitable for a wide range of fluids including oils, water, solvents, gas, low pressure steam and many chemicals in applications of moderate temperatures and pressures.

PG-E is suitable for metallic flanges to a working pressure of 40 Bar and a maximum operating temperature 150 °C (operating temperatures and pressures are dependent on application).

For further information on our WRAS range of materials or for any assistance on selection or assembly, please contact Phoenix Technical.

PG-E Technical Datasheet



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