Gas Detection

The role of gas analysis in clean air strategies to reduce carbon emissions

International action on the climate, such as the 2016 Paris Agreement, has increased awareness of the effect of greenhouse gases, driving industrial plant operators to reduce emissions and find more ecologically responsible ways of operating.

Reducing carbon emissions to the atmosphere has become an area of growing importance for operators. Sensitivity towards the issue has been raised by the introduction of increasingly stringent environmental regulations.

Gas analysis delivers an effective solution for these efforts, supporting measurement of harmful emissions, and by improving efficiency to ensure fewer emissions are generated in the first place.

In this article, we’ll look at three main process areas that support a clean air strategy: combustion efficiency, gas clean-up (including carbon capture processes), and emissions monitoring.

Combustion control solutions

Combustion reactions mix fuel with oxygen in a fired heater to generate heat energy for a process. They typically need a significant amount of fuel, create potential safety hazards, and generate harmful emissions including carbon dioxide (CO2).

Running fired heaters with high excess air – as happened before gas analyzer technology – avoids creating unsafe conditions that could lead to an explosion, but is highly inefficient, increasing fuel consumption.

Excess oxygen (O2) also combines with nitrogen and sulfur in the fuel to produce unwanted emissions such as oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and sulfur (SOx).

Accurate measurement of O2 and combustibles such as carbon monoxide (CO) helps to optimise the ratio between the air and fuel creates a more efficient reaction.

Controlling combustion in this way benefits plants looking to meet environmental standards requirements. Fuel consumption is reduced, resulting in fewer emissions, a reduction in NOx, SOx and CO, and a decrease in CO2.

Zirconia-based sensing technology is long established as a solution for O2 monitoring in combustion, with reliable, accurate results and a fast response to changing conditions. Tunable Diode Laser (TDL) technology provides an even faster measurement, particularly for CO, and gives an average measurement across the measurement path, rather than the result at a single point. However, since TDL sensing is highly specific to the gas being measured, separate analyzers are required for O2 and CO.

Gas analysis also supports greater process efficiency in many other applications. An efficient process reaction reduces the amount of harmful emissions likely to be generated.

Gas clean-up and carbon capture

Gas analysis is important in gas cleaning, the removal of harmful substances from process gases that might otherwise be emitted by the plant.

Typical examples of gas clean-up processes include DeNOx (ammonia slip) treatment, flue gas desulfurization, and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Capturing and storing CO2 ensures it is not released into the atmosphere. This results in a cleaner environment, and allows the CO2 to be used in other processes. Three different methods exist: pre-combustion, oxyfuel, and post-combustion CCS.

Post-combustion CCS takes place when CO2 is removed from the flue gas after fossil fuels have been burned. Oxyfuel CCS produces a flue gas consisting almost entirely of CO2 and steam by reacting the fuel source with almost pure O2 – this means flue gas can be stored/sequestered without significant pretreatment.

Both these methods can be used in new plants, or retrofitted to existing ones.

A third method, pre-combustion CCS, is performed before burning the fuel, and converts the fuel into a mixture of hydrogen and CO2. This is difficult to retrofit, so is better for newly built facilities.

Whichever method is used, the captured CO2 is then compressed into a liquid and transported for storage.

As countries look to meet their responsibilities under Paris Agreement carbon reduction targets, the use of industrial-level CCS is likely to grow significantly, as is the requirement for accurate gas analysis to support the processes.

Monitoring emissions

Reducing carbon emissions has been a key issue for many countries in recent years, with legislation limiting the amounts of greenhouse gases – CO2, CH4 and nitrous oxide (N2O) – that can be emitted. NOx, SOx, and CO are also seen as key pollutants.

Monitoring flue gas emissions helps determine the process efficiency and protect the environment, and demonstrates that plant operators are complying with the necessary regulations.

To ensure compliance, a continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) is required to measure all the necessary components of the flue gas. This must be capable of offering the highest sensitivity and accuracy when dealing with multiple measurements for pollutants.

Any gas analysis system must also meet MCERTS and QAL1 certifications to comply with regulatory criteria.

Cleaner energy sources

Cleaner energy sources, such as hydrogen, are becoming increasingly attractive to many industries – hydrogen gas (H2) does not contain carbon, so cannot form CO2 as a byproduct of combustion.

Plants that produce hydrogen are ramping up output to meet increased demand. The purity of the hydrogen they produce affects its quality as a fuel, and this is where gas analysis again plays a major role.

Depending on the manufacturing method, the most common contaminants will be O2, CO and CO2. All three of these can be monitored by gas analyzers to ensure product purity.

A cleaner future

Whether it is used to ensure more efficient processes, to support the safe removal of pollutants, or to monitor the remaining emissions that are output to the atmosphere, gas analysis plays an essential role in cleaner plant and refinery operations.

Additionally, it is certain that gas analysis technology will be essential to the production of current and future cleaner energy sources.

A wide range of sensing technologies is needed to achieve all the necessary goals of a clean air strategy in order to ensure the best-fit and most cost-effective solution for each application.

By combining all three stages of the clean air strategy outlined here, plants and refineries can fully address the impact of their operations on the wider environment, and contribute fully to the creation of a world with cleaner air.

Find out more about the three-stage clean air strategy at servomex.com

Emerson’s new emissions monitoring system ensures compliance with evolving environmental regulations

Emerson has announced the new Rosemount XE10 Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS), which is designed to help industrial plants meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations and evolving sustainability demands. With its built-in performance analytics and automated validation capabilities, the new system ensures accurate emissions monitoring and reporting to help plant operators reduce the risk of non-compliance shutdowns and penalties.

Designed for rapid deployment, the new system is a compact and standardised solution certified to the European standards EN 14181 and EN 15267, which govern the quality assurance requirements for automated measurement systems of stationary source emissions. The system also complies with the emissions reporting requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Real-time data reporting and quality assurance are critical to regulatory compliance,” said Iain Howieson, vice president and general manager for Emerson’s gas analysis business. “The new Rosemount XE10 CEMS is equipped with fully automated calibration to facilitate drift checks. This ensures reliability and helps operators prove to regulators that the ongoing operational performance of the system meets the mandated quality assurance requirements, such as the Quality Assurance Level 3 test of the EN 14181 standard, which saves operators time and money and gives them the peace of mind for continuous, reliable monitoring of emissions.”

The XE10 CEMS also provides simplified web-based access to built-in performance analytics, enabling visualisation of actionable process information for faster and smarter decision-making. This empowers plant operators to shift their strategy from reactive to proactive environmental compliance.

As a modular, integrated emissions monitoring system, the Rosemount XE10 is simple and fast to configure and comes complete with a gas sampling and conditioning system and up to three gas analyser modules. Each module can accommodate different measurement ranges for different gas components, including CO, NOx, SO2, CO2, and O2.

To reduce risk and complexity, the system is backed by an integrated service approach that provides end-to-end support, including start-up and commissioning, installation in accordance with regulatory assurance standards, and support for the mandated annual surveillance tests to verify the continuing validity of the system’s calibration function.

The XE10 CEMS is the latest example of Emerson’s commitment to helping customers navigate environmental and regulatory challenges as part of an overarching environmental sustainability framework, an approach that includes supporting industrial manufacturers with the deployment of low-carbon fuels and power sources, reducing emissions leakage, improving energy and resource efficiency, and decreasing waste.

For more information on the Rosemount XE10 Continuous Emissions Monitoring System, please visit Emerson.com/RosemountXE10.

UK-based gas-detection industry leaders ION Science to attend US tech event Sensors Expo

One of the world’s leading PID (photoionisation detection) sensor manufacturers, ION Science, are pleased to announce they will be exhibiting at US-based technology event Sensors Expo. ION Science will be showcasing products including their industry-leading MiniPID2 Sensor, at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. Attendees can visit, trial products, and talk to experts in the Exhibit Hall from the 22nd – 23rd of September.

Sensors Expo is an electronics event that has been running for 36 years, with a focus on sensor technology. Since its inception, Sensors Expo has broadened its horizons and diversified to include electronics technologies and embedded systems that are compatible with sensors. The highly anticipated annual event explores the entire sensors ecosystem, from sensing to processing to analysing and connecting. The Expo will showcase the newest tech and innovations, interactive demonstrations and in-person networking, within the safest environment possible.

With experience of working with the semiconductor industry and a clear understanding of the requirements around VOC sensors in such strict environments, ION Science will be demonstrating this knowledge in full at Sensors Expo. Applying their PID sensors to monitor the manufacturing of semiconductors is a key part of ION Science’s work within the sector, and uses their range of sensors primarily, but also their fixed, portable and personal units to maintain these highly sensitive environments.

ION Science will be showcasing their range of products for the attendees of the expo, including their flagship product – the MiniPID2 sensor. This is designed for detecting VOCs over the widest dynamic range on the market without compromising performance. It can deliver a reliable response to thousands of VOCs across many applications. The sensor is resistant to up to 99% humidity and is the number one choice in terms of reliability and accuracy in readings for VOC gases. It is also the market leader in terms of product lifespan- having a 10,000 hour lamp life. The MiniPID2 is designed for both diffusive and in-line pumped sampling and is one of the range of products that ION Science will have at their exhibit for Sensors Expo.

As a company dedicated to improving air quality at every level, ION Science manufacture a range of sensors to make this possible, such as the High Sensitivity VOC Gas Sensor. This sensor is up to fifteen times more sensitive than other leading market products and can detect sub ppb VOC levels. This means that it is suited for use in indoor air quality measurement, where early detection of rising levels in VOCs can allow users to be proactive before it reaches dangerous levels.

ION Science has over thirty years of industry experience designing, manufacturing, and supplying PID gas sensors, detection instruments, and leak detectors for a wide range of industries and applications. Manufactured and designed at their UK headquarters, their sensor technology and gas detection instruments are used in many industries, including electrical and component manufacture, such as semiconductors.

Check out the world leaders in gas detection instruments in the Exhibit Halls at the Sensors Expo. Register now at: www.sensorsexpo.com/register.

Detecting success: ION Science Cub 11.7 eV nominated for Technical Innovation Award

Although specialists in gas detection and analysis, ION Science have recently picked up a new readout of recognition when it comes to their market-leading Cub 11.7 eV personal solution. ION Science are delighted to have been recognised for their hard work across all teams with a nomination for Technical Innovation at the 2021 HazardEx Awards.

The launch of the Cub 11.7 eV personal solution was a long-awaited step forward for gas detection and personal protection against VOC (volatile organic compound) exposure. However, thanks to the efforts of the dedicated teams and expert employees, ION Science were able to bring this new product to market in 2021, transforming the way 11.7 gases are detected and safety upheld.

Developing instruments that can protect individuals and ensure effective protection against VOC exposure is of vital importance, particularly in the 11.7 range of gases. ION Science drew upon the wide knowledge and technical skills held within their in-house teams in order to successfully research, develop and launch the Cub 11.7 eV to market.

As a leading OEM in gas detection and analysis, as well as the only British OEM in the sector to produce their own sensor lamps, ION Science have the unique position in the market of holding all the skills and expertise under one roof, with no outsourcing of key product parts.

By encouraging collaboration, fostering teamwork, and sharing technical knowledge, the team at ION Science have worked in a holistic way to create a product fitted exactly to the needs of the market. The Cub 11.7 eV personal solution is not just an advancement in protection for workers against potential VOC exposure; it also represents a key step forward in developing high quality, accurate protection solutions that can operate in difficult conditions consistently.

ION Science’s team of experts always consider how, where and by whom a product will be used. This kind of thinking and way of approaching a solution is reflected in the end product. When considering how long a person would be wearing the device, weight and practicality were essential. The Cub 11.7 eV weighs in at just 111g and has a bright backlit screen for easy reading. It is comfortable to wear all day, and the small size means it can easily be worn within the breathing zone where it is able to detect potential hazards quickly.

From customer feedback, Gary Smith, Business Unit Manager of Personals and Portables, knew that one area customers always wanted to know more about was lamp life. The number one question when deciding which units to buy always revolved around lamp life and reliability of product. The Cub 11.7 eV has a robust, reliable sensor lamp with a minimum guarantee of 1 year, and is resistant to extreme temperatures, humidity and other environmental sensitivities.

Another key point was the access and readout of data, a critical point for occupational hygienists and site health and safety officers. The Cub 11.7 can be docked via a USB connected station, and data can be collated on a weekly basis for exposure analysis and prevention activity. It’s possible to keep teams safer than before thanks to reliable, accurate data collection via the Cub 11.7 eV.

Having the team recognised for their hard work through the HazardEx award nomination for Technical Innovation is a great achievement. Regardless of a win, ION Science is immensely proud of its employees and what they have achieved in bringing the Cub 11.7 eV to the market, helping keep workers safe and protected against VOCs.

To vote for ION Science and the Cub 11.7 eV in the HazardEx awards, please visit this link.

Delivering products for life and safety protection wherever needed

Ensuring that products reach customers on time is a critical part of any business, but more so for those who deal in products designed to help keep workplaces and staff safe. ION Science, as global leaders in the development, manufacturing, and distribution of gas detection instruments, are all too aware of the need to get product to customers on time. Their team have dedicated significant time and resource to creating a network of reliable distributors around the globe, supported by knowledgeable technical staff.

The importance of having secure, reliable supply chains was truly highlighted to the world this year. Incidents such as the COVID-19 vaccine shortages and supply issues and the Suez Canal blockage with the Ever Given both showed how easily critical supply lines can be disrupted, and how important it is to always have solutions that mean you can meet customer demand no matter what.

ION Science, as a leading OEM for gas detection equipment, understands these challenges and works closely with its global network of distributors and technical offices. This allows for products to be shipped and on-site within exceptional delivery times. ION Science’s industry leading instruments such as the Tiger are available for delivery within days, not weeks, at all of their major global locations, and stock levels are maintained so there is never any unnecessary delay.

In Europe, ION Science’s German office boasts some of the most impressive lead times for the core PID product portfolio. The Tiger range has a guaranteed delivery of 24 hours, with Falco and Cub products generally within 3 working days. Customers can rely on ION Science to get products exactly where they need to be in a fast timeframe. Not only that, but their network of expert technical staff is also available to help customers who need help with specific VOC detection ranges or technical applications.

Elsewhere, ION Science Italy also offers 24-hour turnaround of Tiger product orders, and in France, the full range of PID products is available with a 1-2 day lead time. For India, one of ION Science’s key centres for customers, Tiger can be available for delivery within 24 hours, with Falco generally delivered in 5 working days.

This is just a snapshot of ION Science’s exceptional commitment to lead times and ensuring that products are with customers as quickly as possible. A crucial part of maintaining such efficient lead times is effective stock management, something which ION Science manages closely with all offices and distributors, so no level ever falls too low.

By working with a trusted global network of suppliers, distributors and technical staff, ION Science demonstrates its expertise as a leading gas detection manufacturer goes beyond technical knowledge. Their commitment to reliability and delivery no matter what challenges customers may face means more staff and workplaces can be kept safe from dangerous levels of exposure and keep businesses running smoothly.

Pioneer in solid state gas sensors launches new website

Gas Sensing Solutions, a pioneer in solid state gas sensor technology is delighted to announce the launch of its new website www.gassensing.co.uk. The website places a strong focus on the user experience and includes an easy-to-use parametric search function making it easy for engineers to select the right GSS sensor.

The website has been given a complete overhaul with an emphasis on making it easy to access all the important sensor information in one place. Customers are presented with a product landing page, showcasing each sensor and its key attributes. The product landing page also gives customers the option to filter the sensor choice based on their own parametric requirements including measurement range, sample method and operating temperature range.

Each individual sensor landing page brings together a complete set of technical data. All sensor documentation and other user information including data sheets, application notes, evaluation board user guides, software and other helpful information have been brought together in one place.

When asked about the new website, Julian Hayes, CEO of Gas Sensing Solutions said “In a time when events and customer visits have been put on hold, it is fundamental that our website is able to facilitate our customers in their search for information on our sensors. Our site structure has been streamlined to help customers to find what they need, and the content revamped to ensure our customers understand what our sensors can do in real-world applications.”

 

Sensirion strengthens its portfolio by acquiring micro gas-analyser specialist Qmicro

Sensirion has completed the acquisition of Qmicro, an innovative OEM supplier of miniaturised gas-analysis technologies. Qmicro, based in Enschede, The Netherlands, develops, manufactures, and supplies micro gas analysers based on microelectromechanical (MEMS) gas chromatography (GC) technology. Qmicro’s most important application areas include industrial process control as well as natural and biogas characterisation.

With this acquisition, Sensirion expands its gas sensing portfolio from components and modules to stand-alone micro gas analysers for industrial applications. Many industrial applications require high selectivity and accuracy of gas composition measurements. Micro gas-chromatography technology allows to very selectively and accurately determine the constituents of gas mixtures, enabling Sensirion to expand its gas-sensing offering for its customers from components and modules aimed at high-volume applications to micro gas analysers addressing high-end applications.

Qmicro was founded in 2013, has sixteen employees, and offers very compact, easy-to-use micro gas analysers based on its MEMS-GC technology. Combined with Sensirion’s expertise in MEMS, industrialisation, and the development of highly cost-effective sensor solutions even further miniaturisation and integration becomes possible, benefiting both Qmicro’s and Sensirion’s customers.

Mark Kok, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Qmicro

Core applications of Qmicro’s analysers include the determination of the calorific value of natural gas in distribution networks, monitoring the composition of gas mixtures used in industrial processes, and in the future environmental monitoring. Qmicro’s and Sensirion’s end markets partially overlap and partially complement each other. The acquisition allows Sensirion to leverage its global marketing and sales network.

Mark Kok, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Qmicro comments: “We are excited to join forces with Sensirion, which will enable us to more efficiently scale-up our processes and accelerate growth.”

Marc von Waldkirch, CEO of Sensirion

“Sensirion very cordially welcomes all Qmicro employees and looks forward to further developing the Enschede location as a competence centre for micro gas analysers,” says Marc von Waldkirch, CEO of Sensirion.

New ABB emission monitoring solution helps the maritime industry achieve decarbonisation targets

The launch of ABB’s CEMcaptain will help shipping comply with the sulphur emission regulations that were enforced in 2020, and keep in check their CO2 footprint.

In January 2020, the low sulphur and nitrousoxide emission limits in the International Maritime Organisation regulations became effective worldwide. CEMcaptain is a powerful emissions monitoring system from ABB designed to help the maritime industry meet these new regulations and become more sustainable. Its measurement and digital capabilities increase on-board safety, provide process optimisation and substantially reduce ownership costs. By consistently achieving 98 percent and more uptime, the new system not only requires less maintenance effort but also saves time otherwise spent on handling non-compliance issues.

Designed with busy mariners and a regularly changing crew in mind, CEMcaptain is a multi-component analyzer system that continuously provides real-time data offering reliable measurement of emissions with the highest stability. Operating in even the harshest of conditions it integrates analyzer modules and sample handling components in a standalone cabinet, making installation easy.

Equipped with ABB’s renowned Uras26 non-dispersive IR gas analyzer, CEMcaptain simultaneously and continuously measures sulphur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in line with regulation requirements. Each analyzer has two separate gas paths to allow for continuous CO2/SO2 measurement of separate streams, with up to four different components per analyzer module.

“Our solutions are driving the evolution of sustainable shipping, paving the way to a zero-emission marine industry. ABB has more than 60,000 Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) installed in over 100 countries that help monitor our environment,” said Stephen Gibbons, ABB’s Head of Product Management in Continuous Gas Analyzers. “We draw on 60 years of experience in emissions monitoring to provide this support in concrete terms. CEMcaptain has been combined with innovations in on-site and remote digital services. The result is a solution that provides the industry with a digital toolbox that increases regulatory compliance and operational efficiency.”

Fast fault reporting, diagnosis and repair are achieved via the on-site and remote digital services which help operators get closer to 100 percent availability for their gas analysis instrumentation. Dynamic QR codes are integrated into the ABB CEMcaptain system display panel. All relevant diagnostic information can be collected from the analyzer via a scanned code and transferred to ABB support. This means that maritime instrumentation technicians can send real-time information to an ABB service expert to get immediate guidance on appropriate maintenance. ABB Ability™ Remote Assistance with secured connectivity direct to ABB support is also offered for real-time solutions to problems. These features reduce the costly training of changing crews as well as the number of experts required on board. They also increase on-board safety by reducing crew exposure to emissions.

CEMcaptain GAA610-M is approved by all major classification societies (DNV GL, ABS Group, Lloyds Register, Bureau Veritas, ClassNK, Korean Register).

Chell Instruments welcomes 2021 after 2020 exceeds expectations

Despite an unpredictable 2020, gas measurement and control experts Chell Instruments still achieved their key goals for the year and are now planning for a successful 2021.

Nick Broadly, Chell Instruments

Though the global pandemic caused disruption, the manufacturer has continued to support a growing number of customers and provide precision instrumentation around the world.

“Coronavirus has made 2020 an unusual year! However, despite the challenges, most projects within key industries like F1, energy and even aerospace have continued unabated. I’m proud to say our team has shown exceptional resilience and gone the extra mile to support our clients with the products and expertise they need” says Chell Instrument’s Managing Director, Nick Broadley.

The world-renowned gas measurement and control experts have maintained momentum throughout the year, achieving the targets set for the business. In addition, they have launched a number of new products including an Environmental Flow Test Chamber and a mini pressure scanner with EtherCAT connectivity.

“Even with the challenges, demand looks set to continue to grow in many sectors in 2021. For example, despite the current restrictions on air travel, we’re really excited that our instrumentation is being used in a number of projects working on the electrification of aircraft propulsion” states Nick.

This month also sees Chell Instruments celebrate their first anniversary as part of the SDI Group of scientific and technology manufacturers. The group now owns more than ten companies which produce products for use in imaging, sensing and control applications.

“Being a part of SDI has given us a new thirst for growth and is helping us to invest in the future. We can pool ideas, experience and resources with our sister companies to ensure we continue developing innovative solutions for new and existing customers” Nick continues.

As Chell Instruments export products to countries around the world, they have welcomed the UK’s new trade deal with the EU. “We are pleased the Brexit deal has been agreed. As we sell to Asia and North America, as well as Europe, we have plenty of experience with the custom checks, processes and paperwork necessary. However, the deal means we can go on delivering UK technology to Europe with ease and without extra cost to the customer” concludes Nick.

Established over four decades ago, Chell Instruments produce pressure, vacuum and gas flow measurement and control solutions for use in industries including energy, pharmaceuticals, Formula 1 and aerospace.

The firm’s 2021 plans include continual development of their ultra-compact range of ‘Nano’ pressure measuring devices and a special project to deliver a self-contained mobile testing unit for a leading aircraft engine manufacturer.

To learn more about Chell Instruments visit www.chell.co.uk.

Signal Group announces new senior appointment

The UK based gas analyser manufacturer Signal Group has announced the appointment of Stephane Canadas as Sales and Marketing Manager. “In recent years we have invested heavily in product development, so this is a great time for Stephane to join the company,” comments Signal MD James Clements. “In many respects, our latest products are significantly ahead of other analysers on the market, so Stephane will be focused on expanding our global distribution network and explaining the advantages of these instruments to our rapidly expanding customer base.

“As an electronics engineer with 30 years of experience in instrumentation, working in product management, projects, sales and marketing positions for world leading automation and analytical companies, Stephane has hit the ground running at Signal, and we are delighted to welcome him to the team.”

Stephane says: “With my technical background and a career spent understanding the needs of engineers, I am hugely excited by this opportunity to exploit the impressive features that Signal has designed into its products.

“The new Series IV analysers, with removable screens and the latest communications capabilities, will disrupt the gas analyser market, and the prospect of QAL 1 approval for the Signal FIDs will be of great interest to any organisation with a need to measure VOC emissions.”

Born in France, but having lived most of his life in the UK, Stephane is bilingual and is particularly looking forward to developing Signal’s international operations.