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In the day-to-day operation of industry, vast quantities of fossil fuel are burned. If the combustion process is inefficient, the result is wastage and pollution. The answer lies in finding a really effective method of monitoring certain gases in combustion emission streams, according to Ian Fraser, MD of RTS Africa Engineering.

NeoMonitorsLaserGas iQ2"As a solution, RTS Africa Engineering became the distributor for the Norwegian company Neo Monitors several years ago. A key feature of Neo Monitors’ offering is its reliable and robust method of measuring the concentration of a single gas present in a mix of a number of other gases and dust. This capability is almost impossible with conventional gas-measuring technologies, which use probes inserted into the gas stream,” Fraser explains.

Instead of a probe, Neo Monitors LaserGas analysers use a laser beam which is transmitted through the gas in the flue or duct. The wavelength of the analyser is tuned to recognise a specific gas and to ignore all others. This cuts out cross-interference from other gases, dust or water vapour.

The advantage of this instrument is that the electronics are mounted on the outside of the flue or duct and thus are not affected by the heat or corrosive qualities of the gas stream, Fraser says. LaserGas analysers can operate successfully in temperatures as high as 1500°C and will deliver accurate readings even with 90% signal attenuation.

“Neo Monitors LaserGas analysers are based on tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS), a technology which has gained wide acceptance in the industrial analyser market place in recent years.  Their exceptional performance, selectivity, fast response-time and ability to measure selected gas components directly in the process stream offer unique advantages to the process engineer,” he adds.

According to Fraser, there has been requirement for in-situ, real-time multi-component gas monitoring. The LaserGas iQ² allows for the measurement of four gases (O2, CO, CH4, H2O) and temperature with just one device. “This cutting-edge instrument delivers vast benefits and reduced cost for industries requiring the most accurate analysis of processes. Previous analysers have at the most been able to measure two components in a given process.”

This is particularly important in combustion control where the simultaneous monitoring of oxygen and carbon monoxide concentrations is essential to optimise combustion efficiencies. A further application could be in a sulphur recovery process as the simultaneous monitoring of hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide in flue gases would allow for the optimised recovery efficiency and the limitation of sulphur dioxide emissions, Fraser says.

“One of the most significant new developments from our side is that we can now measure some of the most problematic gases in combustion such as SO2 and NO and NO2; which we could not do before. From an environmental emissions control perspective, that is very important. Whether there is a need to monitor the level of the single gas or multiple gases in a gas flow, Neo Monitors LaserGas analysers are able to make a vital contribution to improved, more cost-effective and more efficient production processes; and to a cleaner environment by limiting the effects of dust and chemical contamination,” he concludes.

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