Hydrogen has long been used as an energy source. Traditionally, it has been used as a component of rocket fuel and in gas turbines to generate energy, or it has been used to power combustion engines. Refineries in the oil and gas sector use extra hydrogen created by the catalytic distillation of naphtha as fuel for other unit processes. Furthermore, by-product hydrogen is produced: for example, the chloro-alkali sector creates hydrogen as an aftereffect of chlorine creation, and petrochemical factories release hydrogen as a by-product of olefin manufacturing.
Hydrogen is commonly used as a feedstock to produce ammonia and methanol for agricultural, mining and marine applications. Pure hydrogen gas is also used as a reducing agent for blast furnaces in steel facilities, as part of an industry effort to reduce CO2 emissions.
Hydrogen has a wide flammability range (4% to 74% by volume in air), so even a small amount of H2 can cause an explosion when mixed with atmospheric air. Hydrogen isn’t toxic, but hydrogen may build up in confined indoor environments causing asphyxiation by displacing the oxygen present.
Hydrogen flammability and detection is a huge concern within the industry as the flames aren’t your usual orange flames – the are pale blue, making it difficult to see with the human eye. Furthermore, hydrogen flames emit low radiant heat, so you may not feel the heat until your too close.
Therefore, flame detectors are used in conjunction with point gas detectors, as they cover a large area. Hydrogen flames can be detected with a multi-spectral infrared detector.
Gas detection is the first line of defence against hydrogen leaks. Measures must be taken to prevent the release of hydrogen before a fire or explosion occurs. Flame detectors are used as perimeter monitoring to ensure that any hydrogen flames are detected and give appropriate warning/alarm signals to guide the operator.
We offer many solutions for hydrogen leaks. The portable gas detectors available at our Gas Shop consist of: Crowcon T4, Gasman, and the Gas-Pro
You will also find fixed systems on our website that offer a solution to Hydrogen leaks such as: The Xgard, Xgard Bright and the Xgard IQ.
We also have the Vortex Control Panel to help combat Hydrogen leaks.
All these products can be found under the Crowcon drop down menu.