Gaseous (by-)products are often created while producing chemicals. These can take the form of innocent water vapour as well as smelly, irritating, poisonous or carcinogenic gasses.
Emissions to the air or to atmosphere can be split up in two major groups: (1) 'guided' or intended emissions, such as smoke escaping through a chimney; (2) 'fugitive' or unintended emissions. These are leakages, usually limited emissions on 'weak' places such as valves, pumps etc.
Legislation in connection with emissions is very extensive and rigid.
It goes without saying that both guided and fugitive emissions have to be avoided as much as possible. To achieve this, BP applies a whole range of measures, both technical and otherwise (procedures, training, attitude...)
Besides the environmental and health aspects, there is an economic aspect as well. Emissions are partly a loss of production, i.e. a loss of moneyThe atmosphere in and near the installations is monitored, registered and guarded in every possible way. An example is the monitoring of emissions in the PX unit OPSIS.
Odour nuisance is a special form of atmospheric pollution.