The use of hydrogen as an energy source is not new. Historically, it has been used to power combustion engines or as a rocket fuel or gas turbine component to generate electricity. Refineries in the oil and gas sector use the extra hydrogen produced by the catalytic reforming of naphtha as fuel for other unit operations.
In addition, various processes can result in the production of hydrogen. For instance, in the chemical industry, chlorine production produces hydrogen as a by-product in the chloro-alkali sector, and the synthesis of olefins in petrochemical factories releases hydrogen as a by-product.
Even little amounts of hydrogen can result in explosions when combined with ambient air due to the broad flammable range that exists for hydrogen (4% to 74% vol in air). Even a static electricity spark from a person's finger can cause an explosion when hydrogen is present. Additionally, in many places where hydrogen is utilised, spark ignition from electrical components or maintenance procedures is a constant concern.
Hydrogen flames are pale blue and emit low heat, making them invisible to the human eye. Using a flame detector as well as a gas detector is a recommended method for hydrogen detection.
The use of hydrogen as a preferred fuel for cars and home gas supplies in consumer situations is very recent. When combined with oxygen, hydrogen burns cleanly and is seen as an alternative to fossil fuels for heating, shipping, and transportation (both domestic and industrial).
For uses in agriculture, mining, and the maritime industry, hydrogen is frequently utilised as a raw material to create methanol and ammonia. To cut CO2 emissions, steel companies also employ pure hydrogen gas as a reducing agent in their blast furnaces.
Hydrogen is a non-toxic gas but in confined space areas like storage rooms - it can displace oxygen, causing asphyxiation. Monitoring a confined space area where hydrogen is present is a must. We would recommend a 4-gas pumped gas monitor for completing a pre-entry check to ensure it is safe for workers to enter. As mentioned above, hydrogen is flammable, and explosions can occur from finger sparks, so clearing areas before entry is key to safety.
With hydrogen beginning to play a significant part in energy generation, it is imperative to establish a reliable detection system to reduce the likelihood that a small leak would escalate into an unmanageable disaster. Due to its tremendous mobility, hydrogen can escape weakened infrastructure much more quickly than conventional natural gas. Below we recommend some of our top hydrogen monitoring solutions.
Our recommended gas detectors for hydrogen detection in the power industry. These range from single gas detectors to multi-gas detectors and hydrogen flame detectors.
BW GasAlertMicroClip XL – How to Manually Bump TestWe talk you through how to manually bump test your BW GasAlertMicroClip XL multi gas detector.
Check out our other MicroClip XL videos on our YouTube channel.
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