Hydrogen Detection Solutions

Protect your workers and facility from dangerous hydrogen gas leaks.

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Hydrogen – Now and in the Future

Hydrogen (H2) production, distribution and usage continues to grow, fuelled by environmental legislation and demand for cleaner fuels. Hydrogen can help global energy transformation, solve pollution problems, and achieve our decarbonisation targets. However, to reach higher levels of adoption, it is crucial to maintain and deploy hydrogen safely.

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Hydrogen Properties and Challenges

Hydrogen’s chemical properties pose unique challenges because it is undetectable by human senses. In addition, it is lighter than air and hence difficult to detect where accumulations cannot occur.

Propensity to Leak

  • Small molecular size and permeation properties
  • Extremely high diffusivity

Propensity to Ignite

  • Very low ignition energy
  • Fast detonation
  • Wide flammability range

Fire Consequences

  • Invisible flame with low thermal radiation
  • High flame temperature

Human Related

  • Potential injury or loss of life
  • Colourless, odourless and tasteless gas

Check out our Response Guide for more hydrogen (H2) chemical properties.

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Hydrogen Applications and Usage

Production

Most of the hydrogen currently produced is based on traditional fossil fuel processing, including natural gas and coal, in locations where these energy sources can be found. However, a promising method of producing hydrogen in the future is water electrolysis. The process splits water into hydrogen and oxygen by using electricity. Electrolysis of water using wind, water, or solar energy is a viable alternative that offers a zero-emission cycle.

Refineries

Oil refineries are large producers and consumers of hydrogen gas. Hydrogen plays a pivotal role in many refining operations, from hydrocracking, treatment of gas streams to catalytic reforming. In the latter, the gas is also used to prevent carbon from reacting with the catalyst to maintain the production of lighter hydrocarbons and extend catalyst life. As a result, refineries use large volumes of hydrogen produced on-site or purchase it from hydrogen production facilities.

Transportation

Demand for Hydrogen is growing with changes to traditional gasoline fuel specifications prompted by environmental legislation, resulting in greater hydrogen use for improving the grade of gasoline. However, decarbonising transport will require a balance of already popular electric cars and alternative fuels to power vehicles. Hydrogen is considered one of the best alternative fuel sources to achieve this aim. Therefore, new investments are being made for optimising the cost of hydrogen production from renewable sources. This will enable hydrogen to be used as fuel on a larger, more economically viable scale.

Ammonia

Most of the global production of ammonia is based on steam reforming of natural gas to produce hydrogen. During synthesis, natural gas molecules are reduced to carbon and hydrogen. Then, the hydrogen is reacted with nitrogen at high pressure and temperature to produce ammonia. This is used primarily for fertiliser manufacturing, as well as several other industries, including pharmaceuticals, pulp & paper and refrigeration.

Liquid ammonia can also be used to store and transport hydrogen in higher volumes, approximately 1.7 times more than liquid hydrogen and at a significantly lower pressure than that of compressed hydrogen.

Sensor Technologies for Hydrogen Detection

Hydrogen detection systems that deploy diverse, complimentary early hazard detection technologies can mitigate the possible effects of gas leaks, preventing equipment or property damage, personal injury, and loss of life.

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Hydrogen Gas and Flame Detection Solutions

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