Chemical barge degassing and VOC emission control

Introduction: chemical barges and the occurrence of VOC emissions

Waterways are frequently used to transport petrochemicals, pressurized products, black oil products, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals from producers to intermediaries to end users. During transport and transfer of these products, VOC emissions can occur at the tank farm or during loading and unloading operations.

VOC emissions

Table 1: VOC emissions

Tank farm

Loading operations
  • Filling
  • Inerting
  • Breathing
  • Ship
  • Truck
  • Railcar

The possible VOC emission rate depends on many factors:

  • Design of receiving vessel or tank;
  • Loading rate;
  • Nature of current cargo;
  • Nature of previous cargo;
  • Sea conditions (for offshore loading);
  • Temperature;
  • Time since unloading of previous cargo.

The most common bulk organic cargoes are summarised below:

Table 2 - Common bulk organic cargoes

Crude oil Petroleum fractions Chemicals
  Acrylates Alcohols
Aliphatic hydrocarbon solvents Benzene
Aromatic hydrocarbon solvents Cumene
Gasoline Esters
Industrial spirit Ethanol
Kerosene Ethylbenzene
Naphtha Ethylene dichloride

On the 1st of November 2009, the Convention on the Collection, Deposit and Reception of Waste produced during Navigation on the Rhine and Inland Waterways of 9 September 1996 (CDNI) entered into force in Europe (source: CDNI website). The CDNI has been adopted by six countries (Luxembourg, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France) and is applicable on the entire length of the river Rhine and on all inland waterways in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, on the international part of the river Moselle in Luxembourg and France. Part B of the regulation makes arrangements for handling cargo residue and waste arising from the shipment of cargoes.

Degassing of inland ships
  • Vessel volume 3,000m3
    • Flow rate 1,000 m3/h
    • Changing cargo

Our solution

  • Open container
  • 2 x AIRCON® 2000
  • ATEX
  • LEL Measurement
  • CO monitoring
 VOC emission control: degassing of inland ships

DESOTEC Activated Carbon offers solutions for: VOC removal:

  • Degassing of chemical (inland) barges;
  • Manipulation of (inland) ships.

Odour control:

  • Vents of storage tanks in tank farms;
  • (Inland) boats.

Don’t hesitate to contact us on VOC emission control solutions; we’re at your service! DESOTEC Activated Carbon specialises in selecting the most appropriate activated carbon type and offering tailor-made purification solutions.


At DESOTEC’s facilities, all used carbon is analysed so the right measures can be taken for handling and removing the saturated carbon out of the mobile filters. All molecules that were adsorbed on the activated carbon at the customers’ site, are desorbed inside DESOTEC’s reactivation furnaces. These contaminants are then fully destroyed, in accordance with National and European legislationby an incineration and neutralisation setup. The entire installation and it's emissions are under continuous on-line monitoring, which guarantees that only harmless water vapour is seen exiting the chimney.