Gas sensing

ION Science wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation for MiniPID Sensors

ION Science has won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of Innovation, for its pioneering MiniPID sensors. The award is the highest recognition of business excellence across Britain and endorses the commercial success of ION Science’s innovative technology. ION Science’s industry-leading PID (photo-ionisation detection) technology offers unparalleled VOC detection, helping users to protect lives and preserve the environment.

The achievement of the Queen’s Award for Innovation reaffirms the design, quality, reliability and success of the MiniPID sensor, whilst also highlighting ION Science’s dedication to developing and producing new technologies.

Prior to the development of the MiniPID sensor range, VOC sensors often suffered from short operational life, poor reliability, and regular failures in the face of challenging environmental conditions. The MiniPID sensor addresses all these issues and more, highlighting why it is the market leader for performance, quality and standards for all VOC sensors. Able to withstand relative humidity up to 99% (non-condensing), temperatures of -40 to +65 °C, and with an anti-contamination design, the MiniPID range offers 10,000 hours of reliable detection, making it ideal for long-term monitoring. MiniPID sensors also have the widest detection range on the market, from as low as 0.5 ppb (parts per billion) right up to 10,000 ppm (parts per million), making them suitable for any application. ION Science’s sensors can be used to detect over 950 different compounds, many of which can pose a serious threat to human health and life.

Duncan Johns, Managing Director of ION Science, said of the win: “It’s wonderful to see the hard work of all the staff here at ION Science recognised by the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. As an organisation we are always striving to achieve the next level of innovation in technology, which is brilliantly represented by the MiniPID sensor range. We’re looking forward to the future of ION Science and continuing to innovate with our award-winning sensors.”

Dr Peter Morris, head of the Sensors Product Business Unit at ION Science, also spoke of the MiniPID: “Achieving this outstanding level of recognition for the MiniPID sensor is a fantastic result for the Sensors team. Many of us have worked at ION Science for decades and seen the full development of the MiniPID since its inception in 2007. Being able to have the affirmation of the MiniPID sensor as an ‘Innovation’ by the Queen’s Award for Enterprise is a great highlight and we’re very proud to receive it.”

Across the globe today, MiniPID sensors can be found in many applications, including oil rigs, gas refineries, pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, semiconductor factories, laboratories, nuclear facilities, air quality monitoring and many more; protecting the health and safety of workers, the public and the environment.

MiniPID sensors represent a monumental step forward in protecting people. The advanced VOC detection capabilities mean that no matter what application, environment, or compounds, MiniPID sensors exceed the customer need and delivers high quality, reliable results.

ION Science’s range of MiniPID sensors are now available to buy directly from the award-winning manufacturer – contact them today to find out more: https://ionscience.com/en/contact-us/

Gas Sensing Solutions to launch new methane sensor at Sensor+Test 2022

Gas Sensing Solutions – a pioneer in LED based NDIR infra-red gas sensors has announced that it will launch a new range of methane gas sensors to market at Sensor+Test 2022.

The methane gas sensors use ultra-bright LEDs and a patent pending internal architecture to deliver unrivalled accuracy and low power consumption.

Sensor+Test on 10-12 May 2022 in Nuremberg, Germany is the leading international forum for sensors, measuring and testing technologies worldwide. Alongside the new methane gas sensors, Gas Sensing Solutions will also promote its range of CO2 sensors, including the ultra-low-power CozIR®-Blink, and the high-speed SprintIR-R.

“GSS is delighted to be showcasing its new methane gas sensors at Sensor+Test2022. We have always been at the forefront of the LED based NDIR CO2 sensor market. We are now bringing this technology, design experience and sensor insight into the methane market, creating an innovative sensor architecture that sets new standards for the industry. Sensor+Test2022 is the perfect platform to launch this exciting new product to market,” Julian Hayes, CEO of Gas Sensing Solutions.

To learn more about our new Methane sensors, see us at Sensor+Test on 10-12 May 2022 in Nuremberg, Germany at stand 1-401, or visit www.gassensing.co.uk.

Endress+Hauser joins the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance

In joining the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, Endress+Hauser is supporting the development of a clean and competitive hydrogen industry in Europe. The goal is to achieve CO2 neutrality in the process industry by the middle of the century through the introduction of hydrogen technologies. Working together with other industry partners, Endress+Hauser wants to support the efforts being made toward a sustainable future.

Green hydrogen is considered one of the keys to decarbonisation in many sectors and a core element of the energy transition. The European Clean Hydrogen Alliance will play a crucial role in the implementation of the EU’s hydrogen strategy. “With our membership, we want to support initiatives aimed at decarbonisation and achieving climate goals to make an active contribution to a sustainable future,” said Paul Borggreve, Corporate Director of Marketing at the Endress+Hauser Group.

Valuable contribution to sustainable development

The alliance, a European Commission initiative, brings together players from industry, science, government and the private sector to mobilise resources and develop an investment agenda that promotes the production and utilisation of renewable hydrogen and creates a concrete project pipeline, thus building the foundation for a sustainable and competitive hydrogen ecosystem in the EU.

Hydrogen, the most practical alternative to fossil fuels, has the potential to enable the transition to a CO2-neutral future in a wide range of sectors. This includes the oil & gas and chemical industries, as well as steel and cement manufacturing, where avoiding emissions is especially difficult. “Green hydrogen is a key component in the energy transition,” adds Jens Hundrieser, European Regional Industry Manager for Energy & Metal.

Comprehensive portfolio for hydrogen applications

Endress+Hauser already boasts a broad portfolio of products for critical process measuring points in the production, storage and utilisation of hydrogen. These include laser-based gas analysers for determining the quality of gases, flow metering solutions and level measurements in liquid hydrogen tanks.

Endress+Hauser instruments fulfil the highest process and environmental safety standards. Among other things, hydrogen applications require instruments that can withstand high process pressures of more than 1,000 bar or extreme temperatures as low as -253 degrees Celsius. “The European Clean Hydrogen Alliance allows us to learn together with our partners and continue to improve our portfolio of products and solutions for the hydrogen industry,” says Paul Borggreve.

Hazardous Materials: Spills and Soil Contamination – an ION Science webinar

Statistics from the Department of Transportation reveal that 21,539 hazardous material incidents occurred within 2021 in the United States alone. These incidences can have a detrimental effect on the environment and public health, in the long and short term. With increasing scrutiny on companies and individuals to meet stricter environmental targets, mitigating and preventing hazardous material incidents is a key step to creating a cleaner, greener future.

To protect both the environment and public health, it is first important to identify what hazardous materials are and understand how they are categorised. Following this, examining what processes are currently in place, and how these can be improved to prevent hazardous materials from endangering people, entering waterways, and contaminating soil, is the crucial step to reducing the impact of hazardous material spills.

Health and safety professionals are the key to understanding, maintaining, and reducing the risks associated. To reduce the rate of incidents, education and awareness of hazardous materials and their impact are critical tools that should be added to any health and safety professional’s toolkit.

ION Science, a leading UK OEM for gas detection instrumentation, has partnered with Health & Safety Matters to deliver a free webinar on this topic. The webinar will cover the importance of understanding the dangers associated with hazardous material spillages, and the consequences on public health, wildlife, and the environment.

This webinar will include focus on the following areas:

  • How HAZMAT spills can occur
  • Current HAZMAT processes
  • The health effects spills can cause
  • The environmental impact of spills (including soil contamination)
  • How PID technology can identify and track spills and contamination
  • Live Q&A session

Register for free today and join this webinar with ION Science and Health & Safety Matters on the 20th April 2022 at 10.30am GMT. Find out more about how you can help prevent hazardous spills and identify, detect and prevent hazardous material spills from impacting the public and the environment.

Sign up today: https://events.streamgo.live/hazardous-materials-spills-soil-contamination-20th-april-2022/register

Protecting the science of tomorrow: VOC detection technology for University of Nottingham School of Chemistry

For the chemists and students who are working hard to make scientific discoveries and improvements for the future, it’s vital that their labs and work areas are safe and free from potentially harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Shawcity, ION Science’s UK distributor, is pleased to have supplied ION Science’s leading handheld VOC gas detector, the Tiger, to help monitor air quality at the University of Nottingham School of Chemistry GSK Centre for Sustainable Chemistry.

Preventing exposure and ensuring VOC levels do not reach dangerous concentrations in these areas is essential for the safety of those working, and to ensure minimal interference with projects and experiments. There are also other factors to consider, such as shared communal spaces in buildings (like corridors or common rooms) potentially being impacted by high levels of VOCs. Depending on the volume and type of VOC, this could range from mildly annoying to more serious health affects long-term.

In a university, where buildings may have been converted or retrofitted to their current purpose, and therefore lack modern ventilation systems, having additional safeguards in place to monitor air quality and VOC concentrations is essential for safety. The University of Nottingham School of Chemistry had received some complaints about strong chemical smells in their labs, but the team also wanted to introduce some additional safety measures in the event of ventilation systems being down, accidents, leaks or other potential hazardous incidents.

To accurately evaluate VOC levels and identify the risks or hazards present in the lab, the team wanted to find a handheld device that could monitor VOC concentration and air quality. It needed to be simple in its readouts, reliable, and able to be used in multiple labs, as well as different areas within the lab, such as fume hoods. ION Science’s leading handheld VOC detector, the Tiger, was chosen for meeting all these requirements and more.

As the first VOC detector used by The University of Nottingham School of Chemistry, one of the key factors for purchase was the ease of use for the Tiger, and the extensive technical support offered by Shawcity. A spokesperson for the university said: ‘Our building contains a series of chemistry research laboratories where groups work on diverse projects based around green and sustainable chemistry themes; we make catalysts, invent new reactions, new battery technology, and new solar cells. 

 ‘We use a lot of different organic solvents many of which are volatile and require LEVs (local exhaust ventilation) to contain those vapours. We use the Tiger to check that our vented cupboards, extraction arms, vented enclosures and fume hoods are doing what they are meant to, which is containing those VOCs. 

 ‘The Tiger is very useful in the lab for both routine inspections of air quality and equipment functionality, as well as for use in emergencies when ventilation equipment has gone down. We are extremely pleased with the product and Shawcity have been helpful throughout.’

ION Science is pleased to be supporting the science and technology achievements of tomorrow with industry leading VOC detection today. To find out more about the Tiger, please visit: https://bit.ly/3FgZy89.

Gas Sensing Solutions website becomes multilingual

Gas Sensing Solutions – a pioneer in solid state NDIR infra- red gas sensors has added a multilingual option to its website. Following on from the launch of its brand-new website earlier this year, this major upgrade now offers customers the option to view the website in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, as well as the English version.

Selecting a language is easy with the new options added to the menu bar. Users can expect to find key pages available in multiple languages, including the product selection guide, individual product pages, technology, company, and contact information.

Julian Hayes, CEO of Gas Sensing Solutions commenting on the new web site said, “as a global company, it is important to make it easy for all customers to find and select the right product for their application. Over the last 18 months, we have improved our digital presence with a complete overhaul of the company website and adding a multilingual option provides a positive user experience for more of our customers, especially those in Asia with this upgrade.”

To experience the GSS website in a variety of languages, please visit www.gassensing.co.uk.

Alphasense joins the AMETEK family

Alphasense, the Essex-based gas sensor manufacturer, is delighted to announce its acquisition by AMETEK, the global leader in electronic instruments and electromechanical devices.

Founded in 1996 and celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Alphasense will continue to operate from the company’s head office and manufacturing facility in Braintree, Essex.

Alphasense’s product range and day-to-day operations will remain unchanged, with Erik Boergesen from AMETEK MOCON joining the company in the coming weeks to oversee the transition period alongside Alphasense Interim CEO Peter Saxton.

“This is a significant moment in the history of Alphasense,” said Peter Saxton. “AMETEK’s operational style and growth strategy will create new opportunities for us over the coming years to build customer relationships around the world and develop our product range across existing and new markets. On behalf of the Gotley family, I extend my sincere thanks to colleagues past and present for their contribution to Alphasense.”

AMETEK consists of two operating groups: Electronic Instruments and Electromechanical. The company employs people at numerous manufacturing, sales and service locations in the United States and in many other countries around the world.

Despite the new interest and opportunities generated by the acquisition, Erik Boergesen believes Alphasense’s existing strengths will still be the key to achieving future growth.

“With the business recently turning 25 years old, we’re at a pivotal point where investment, insight and expertise from a company with AMETEK’s pedigree can help us push forward to reach new heights,” said Erik Boergesen. “Having said that, we still remain fully focused on delivering excellent product performance and outstanding customer service in our pursuit of this future growth.”

For more information about Alphasense, please visit www.alphasense.com or contact sensors@alphasense.com. For further information about AMETEK, please visit www.ametek.com.

Delivering excellence in benzene monitoring instrumentation for the chemical, pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries

Monitoring benzene exposure levels is critical for the health and wellbeing of staff and the public who may encounter this group one carcinogen. While benzene has many useful and practical applications in industries, the risk to health is undeniable and requires exact and precise monitoring to mitigate damage. Having accurate and dedicated monitoring instrumentation specifically for managing the risk of benzene is essential for any business that works with this chemical.

As benzene is both widespread in industrial applications and poses a significant risk to health, there is pressure from public health and industrial safety perspectives on making sure it is managed and monitored properly. The most effective way of minimising exposure to benzene is through appropriate safety and monitoring practices. Using PID (photoionisation detection) instruments from ION Science is an excellent way of protecting against potential hazards.

ION Science has a dedicated range of instruments specifically designed for monitoring benzene. As a compound that poses a range of long- and short-term health risks associated with exposure, having instruments that can monitor wherever staff are working and in areas where there is potential for public or environmental exposure is key.

For protecting individual staff, ION Science offers the Cub TAC (total aromatic compound) 10.0 eV personal benzene gas monitor. This personal monitoring solution is worn within the breathing zone on the person, allowing individual monitoring of exposure levels to be exact. Equipped with audio and visual alarms when exposure goes beyond pre-set levels, the Cub TAC is designed to keep workers safe in all situations. Data can be uploaded for review by the site Occupational Hygienist or Health and Safety Officer, so any exposures that pose a risk can be quickly addressed and dealt with.

The Titan fixed benzene specific gas monitor is a standalone unit that can be fitted around sites, factories, and storage units. This is particularly useful for monitoring

benzene, as one of the highest risk factors in benzene exposure is related to the storage and distribution of petrol and petroleum-based products. Benzene can also be found on sites such as oil refineries and foundries, which are often large and not necessarily always monitored in person. The Titan fixed unit is wall mounted and samples air every minute, providing an accurate readout of benzene air concentrations within just 60 seconds. With a dynamic detection range, the Titan is designed to monitor for benzene at just 0.1 ppm concentration levels, keeping staff as safe as possible when in proximity.

Where portable detection is essential, ION Science offer the Tiger Select portable benzene gas detector. Ideal for use around sites and for checking levels while working, the Tiger Select keeps staff safe as well as monitoring air levels and concentrations for health and safety purposes. With both 15-minute short term exposure limits and 8 hour time weighted averages, the Tiger Select makes it possible to monitor exposure risks at all levels and throughout the day.

What really makes ION Science’s range of benzene specific instruments valuable to the customer is the fast lead times available on the majority of products. ION Science is proud to offer delivery time turnaround of days, not weeks, and in some cases, it may even be possible to have products arriving to customers within 24 hours.

With a global network of suppliers, distributors and offices, ION Science boasts superior supply chains to get products where they need to be. Whether customers have an immediate need, such as a suspected leak or impending legislation change, or a long term commitment to improving environmental and public health, choosing from ION Science’s range of benzene detection instruments means products can be on site in some of the fastest lead times available.

Signal Group expands range of service contracts

Signal Group (UK), the gas analyser manufacturer, has announced the launch of a new flexible range of service contracts, which enable customers to determine the level of service required. “No two companies are the same,” explains Signal Group Service Manager Roy Kinslow, “so it makes sense for us to offer a tiered-package approach to service contracts.

“Our gas analysers are designed and built for accurate and reliable measurements, but in order to optimise performance, it is necessary to establish a planned maintenance and calibration routine. These new flexible service contracts therefore offer customers the ability to build resilience into their monitoring work; developing plans for unforeseen events and avoiding downtime.”

Each of the different service levels include full technical support via phone and email, but customers are able to choose whether their plan should also include features such as scheduled site visits and emergency call-outs. Each service plan also provides extra discount on spares and consumables.

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