Hydrogen gas analysis and detection technology

Hydrogen gas analysis and gas detection is performed daily in many applications. However, traditional sensors used to measure hydrogen suffer from several ‘pain points’. But a breakthrough might be on the way.

Insplorion, a gas analysis technology innovator based in Sweden, has developed a new technique that will transform the way hydrogen is measured. Its system can enable improved safety and more reliable process control.

The default sensor for measuring hydrogen gas for process control applications is a thermal conductivity detector (TCD). The instrumentation works very well in binary systems when the background gas is known. In this situation, the electronics and software can be configured to measure the hydrogen concentration accurately. However, in applications where the background matrix gas changes or additional gases are introduced, the TCD is less suitable.

For flammable gas detection in the range of 1-2%, hydrogen leaks are generally detected using a pellistor which relies on catalytic oxidation of the hydrogen as a measurement principle. The technique is ideal for detecting hydrogen leaks into air, but when hydrogen leaks must be measured in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen or helium, the pellistor arrangement must be modified to introduce an air or oxygen stream to enable the catalytic oxidation reaction.

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