4 Types of Methane Gas Detection

Natural gas is one of the most common sources of power generation in the United States. Methane gas is the main component of natural gas. Methane is easily ignited and can cause explosions when it leaks into the air. For these reasons, detecting methane leaks is an important part of safely extracting, transporting or using natural gas. These are four of the methods used to detect methane gas.

1. Flame Ionized Detectors

Flame ionized detectors utilize hydrogen flames for methane gas detection California. They work by ionizing the gas so that it conducts electricity. This current is then measured to compute the concentration of gas. This method is accurate and fast but requires a source of hydrogen, an air supply that is clean and an open flame, which makes this method not ideal for some environments.

2. Semiconductor Sensors

Semiconductor sensors create a reaction with methane, which results in resistance. That resistance is utilized to compute the gas concentration. However, these sensors can be vulnerable to poisoning and contamination.

3. Infrared Sensors

These sensors detect and measure gas in the atmosphere by using an infrared beam. Even though these sensors cost more than other types, they have become the most commonly used technology, because they are durable and robust. 

4. Catalytic Sensors

These sensors create a catabolic reaction with oxygen and methane. This produces heat and a resistance change inside the sensor, which can be measured to figure out the concentration of methane. These sensors are less costly than others but need oxygen to work and are subject to sintering, poisoning and contamination, which necessitates regular replacement and calibration.

Because of the potential for devastating damage caused by methane leaks or explosions, monitoring methane levels is critical for operations involving natural gas. The best method of methane detection depends on the application and the environment.