In any work environment, safety is a priority. But industrial facilities require special care and consideration as by the nature of their purpose, potentially harmful gases must be carefully monitored with gas detection analyzers. To ensure that employees are safe, this guide will walk you through the most common types of industrial gas analyzers. Choosing the right one can be daunting, as there are many different gas detection devices on the market, and it is easy to purchase the wrong one if you do not know what you need to monitor. This guide will help you find the best gas detection and detector system that suit your workplace needs.
Various industrial gas combustion analyzers are available in industrial workplaces, and choosing the right one depends on considering unique factors, including mobility needs. Therefore, when choosing a gas analyzer, ask yourself does the analyzer need to be mobile, what gases are you monitoring, and any specific requirements regarding compliance. The answers to these questions will help you determine which direction of gas analyzer is best fit.
Portable Gas Analyzers
Portable gas analyzers are handheld devices that employees can easily move around facilities, from room to room, to calculate gas levels successfully within engines, boilers and turbines. Portable gas analyzers offer convenient mobility around job sites, and they are small and compact, making them easy to carry around. Portable gas analyzers are an essential tool for field workers moving from various job sites, or testing fixed units such as boilers or engines. The instrument can also be configured to measure variety of gases based on the testing needs.
Fixed Gas Monitoring Systems
In certain industrial work environments, there are areas constantly prone to harmful gas exposure. Fixed analyzers are the best tools for keeping these areas under regular watch. Fixed gas analyzers are also known as stationary gas analyzers, which do not create much mystery surrounding the device’s purpose. These gas monitors are installable in work zones, providing a consistent means of maintaining constant surveillance over engines or equipment that is known for putting off gas emissions. In addition, with a fixed analyzer, employees are swiftly alerted to hazardous gas when they are in another room entirely, or even remotely.
Gas Detection Parameters
Gas analyzers are used in the following settings: HVAC, boilers, burners, engines, gas turbines, concrete lime and stone, metal and steel plants, and more. These locations among others have EPA protocol standards for air monitoring that must be adhered to. Knowledge of your plant requirements, and answering the following categories will ensure you have the right equipment for the job.
Single Gas Detectors
If you only need to monitor for one type of hazardous gas, then a single gas detector will do the job. Carbon monoxide (CO), phosphine (PH3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2,) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) are just a few of the gases you can find a suitable single gas detection device for easily. A Testo 300 is an example of a flexible testing instrument capable of configuration between 1 to 3 gases.
Some worksites have multiple gases that they must monitor regularly, or they might not know the hazards in the work zone air. For instances like these, you should use multi-gas detectors. As the name suggests, a multi-gas detector tracks more than one hazardous material in the area. Do not buy several single-gas detectors if you need to detect multiple gases simultaneously. Seek a suitable multi-gas option instead, such as the Testo 350, a multi-gas analyzer that can measure up to 6 gases, configured to meet your testing needs.
Recognizing & Preventing Health Hazards
Many gases and vapors are invisible to the naked eye. However, they still threaten employee health and workplace safety. Dangerous gases and vapors create an unsafe environment that can cause employees to get sick or even die. Using the right safety equipment to keep employees safe is extremely important. Regardless of what type of gas detection equipment you select, there are a few key factors that you need to consider when selecting this type of equipment. Those include:
A factor to consider when purchasing industrial gas detectors is their type of sensor. Different sensors excel at detecting different types of gases, so it’s crucial to choose one that’s appropriate for your workplace’s unique requirements.
Catalytic Bead Sensors
Catalytic bead sensors are one of the most widely used sensor types, thanks to their ability to detect flammable gases accurately. These sensors work by converting the gas into heat, which is then measured by the sensor. This heat is produced by the combustion of the gas on a metal wire, usually platinum or palladium.
Infrared sensors are ideal for detecting gases with low vapor pressure, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and refrigerant gases like R-22 and R-134a. These sensors work by measuring the infrared radiation absorbed by the gas. The absorption of infrared radiation by a gas is proportional to the gas’s concentration so that the sensor can detect even very low concentrations of the gas.
Electrochemical sensors are excellent at detecting toxic gases like chlorine (Cl2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and ammonia (NH3). These sensors measure the electrical current generated by a chemical reaction between the gas and an electrode. As the gas concentration increases, the electrical current also increases, providing a reliable measurement of the gas concentration.
Photoionization detectors (PIDs) are suitable for detecting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other gases with low ionization potentials. These sensors use ultraviolet light to ionize the gas molecules, producing an electrical current that the sensor measures. PIDs are especially useful in industrial settings where the presence of VOCs can be a significant hazard.
When it comes to gas detection and combustion monitoring, accuracy is critical. If a gas analyzer doesn’t detect hazardous gases accurately, it can create a false sense of security, putting employees at risk. For this reason, choosing a gas analyzer that provides reliable and accurate readings is essential.
Calibration is crucial to ensuring the accuracy of gas analyzers. Calibration involves adjusting the analyzer to measure gas concentrations accurately. Calibration should be performed regularly, at least annually if not more frequently as per identified standards by the facility or air permits, to ensure the gas analyzer is functioning correctly. Many EPA compliance requirements details how frequently calibration is required. Highmark Analytics can assist you in understanding your permit for compliance regulations, and meeting these standards.
Industrial gas analyzers are an essential tool for ensuring workplace safety. With the wide range of gas combustion devices available on the market, finding the right one for your needs can be challenging. However, by considering factors like mobility, gas detection parameters, sensor types, and accuracy, you can choose a gas detector that provides reliable and accurate readings, keeping your employees safe from hazardous gases. Our team at Highmark Analytics can help you find the right gas combustion and emissions equipment. Contact us today to learn more.