Hilliard Emission Controls, Inc. / PURGIT

Hilliard Emission Controls, Inc. / PURGIT

PURGIT founder, Hank Hilliard, began his career in tank barge cleaning and repair in 1971. The shipyard that Hank and his father built in Channelview was cleaning 2,000 tank barges a year by the time Hank left to open PURGIT in 1993. Hank subsequently designed environmentally positive innovations for vapor control systems and, since founding PURGIT, has implemented these patented designs into mobile systems that have revolutionized the way barge and tank cleaning is being done. Environmental regulations were quickly developing in the mid-1990s so PURGIT coupled portable combustors and flares with its patented inert gas purging business (CO2 and nitrogen) to control vapors at shipyards and tank farms. PURGIT now designs and builds portable flare systems to meet the strict safety and environmental standards in refinery settings.

Company details

101 Spooner St, , Pasadena , Texas 77506 USA
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Business Type:
Industry Type:
Air Pollution Treatment
Market Focus:
Nationally (across the country)
Year Founded:

This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
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The RVRU method is the most advanced in the tank degassing industry. Our condensing system collects and removes VOC – it can actually degas a tank without ever opening up the tank. Vapors are circulated from the tank to the condenser back to the tank. The operational and environmental benefits are significant. It is the safest system for classified areas because there is no combustion. Our condensers make zero pollution. The gases are condensed back to liquid that is recycled or reused. There is no burning flame with exhaust stack.

PURGIT moves in to your site with specialized equipment to do the job quickly and thoroughly. It is easy to verify that there are no emissions and that we meet air emission rules. Our equipment is easy to set up and connect to the tank through the manway or nozzles on the tank. Instead of burning the tank vapors, we condense them back to liquid.
Condensing is safer because there is no combustion and no unprotected source of ignition. It is environmentally correct because it does not make any CO2, NOx or CO. It does not require an exhaust stack. It controls chlorinated solvents without scrubbing and does not make pollution or hazardous waste as a by-product. Finally, it does not need oxygen, so it works in tanks with nitrogen blankets.

We discovered that one of the important things we do is that we mix the vapors in the tank. Our closed vent system returns the non-condensable vapors back to the tank. That is significant because it stirs up the vapors in the tank and that eliminates stagnant vapor clouds. Mixing makes the cargo on the floor evaporate faster and it makes the vapors homogeneous for testing. No thermal oxidizer can do that.

The PURGIT system was developed by Hank Hilliard who has been in the tank cleaning and degassing business since 1972. No one in Houston (the world capital for tank degassing and cleaning) has been in the business longer or cleaned more tanks. Between 1972 and 1993 he managed the barge cleaning dock at Southwestern Barge Shipyard in Channelview TX. That facility degassed thousands and thousands of tank barges and pioneered some important vapor control techniques. For instance Hilliard installed the first vapor flare for LP tank barges in Houston and the first vapor flare for tank barge degassing in any shipyard. In 1992 he left the shipyard and started PURGIT to provide vapor control as a service.

Hilliard started out trying to use industry standard equipment like thermal oxidizers and IC engines but found too many drawbacks associated with those devices, instead he developed the PURGIT Refrigerated Vapor Recovery Unit. The RVRU degases tanks to meet the state specification without opening the tanks up. PURGIT continues to research and develop vapor control.