Saving Money, Optimising Processes and Controlling Emissions – The Many Benefits of Laser Gas Analysis
20 August 2014
Rand Technical Services (RTS) is a Tshwane-based company specialising in addressing specific industrial challenges by identifying innovative solutions, often sourcing them internationally. The company, run by Chairman Ian Fraser, has been introducing cutting-edge technology to South African industry since the early 1990’s, not least of which are the company’s Neo Monitors laser gas monitors.
“Gas detection and analysis are critical to industrial processes: not only does the monitoring of gas levels address critical safety issues, but it can bring substantial cost savings through helping to optimise combustion processes. It can also promote a cleaner environment through focused emissions control,” says Fraser.
However, analysing gas levels may be subject to inaccuracies and limitations in environments of extreme temperatures or high dust levels. Neo Monitors laser gas monitors bring new levels of capability and accuracy, providing a convenient answer to the problems associated with probe-based instrumentation, which can be fraught with challenges.
“Gas analysis has historically been conducted through probes, which can be problematic in that gas streams tend to be dirty, hot and inaccessible. Normal probes clog up easily and are affected by high temperatures, affecting the accuracy of the readings. Probes can also experience a short life-span, and require extensive maintenance,” Fraser explains. “Tunable diode laser technology offers an extremely viable alternative to probes-based instruments.”
The laser monitor is tuned to a specific specially selected absorption line for a particular gas which enables the instrument to measure the level of the selected gas in the gas stream without cross-interference from other gases or contamination by dust particles, and is not negatively affected by high temperatures. As a measuring device it is extremely stable, unlike other instruments which can provide inaccurate readings because of environmental problems such as vibration, temperature variations or contaminants.
“These monitors remain accurate for a minimum of 12 months,” says Fraser. “They are a durable and therefore cost-effective means of measuring and analysing a large range of gases. Moreover, they are highly tolerant of opacity. Therefore, within a gas stream where there is at least a 10% signal received they remain highly accurate. In terms of temperature, we have successfully used laser monitors in a platinum smelter with temperatures rising to 1,500?C.”
RTS’s range of laser monitors, ‘Neo LaserGas analysers’ are manufactured by Neo Monitors, a division of Norwegian company Norsk-Elektro Optic (NEO). The technology is available to South African industry through RTS and has been used successfully in a wide range of sectors: including chemical, petrochemical, steel, aluminium, cement, automobile, pharmaceutical, power and waste incineration.
In a nutshell, Neo Monitors lLserGas analysers have an application in any gas stream which features intrusive problems such as heat damage, dust or other contaminants, or limited access, such as such as smelters or refineries. However, their application also has important environmental implications.
“Of particular importance is that laser monitor technology promotes a greater sensitivity to the environment,” notes Fraser. “Because it provides an extremely accurate measurement of certain gases within the waste stream, such as oxygen, this offering can provide critical information to help to optimise the combustion processes. Not only does the technology help to optimise process efficiencies, and therefore bring cost-benefits, but it also plays an important role in helping to minimise noxious emissions.”
RTS’s team of highly experienced personnel is well-equipped to offer technical advice on laser gas analysis, and the company offers full site support from project conception, installation and ongoing maintenance, such as addressing any calibration or alignment issues.
“Because gas detection is so important in industrial processes, we are excited to be able to introduce Neo Monitors’ gas analysis technology to local industry. Accurate gas readings allow for efficient, environmentally-friendly combustion processes. Laser technology brings new levels of stability, accuracy and durability to this all-important measurement process,” Fraser concludes.