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Facts at Your Fingertips: Gas Detection

By Scott Jenkins |

Detection of gases is a critical task in many chemical process industries (CPI) facilities to avoid hazards to personnel and to the environment. Gases may present risks of explosion, flammability, toxicity, environmental pollution and displacement of breathable air. This one-page reference provides information on common classes of gas detectors and on commonly monitored gases in industry. Gas sensor classes Gas-detection technologies can be classified according to the characteristics of the gases they detect: either toxic gases or combustible gases, and most gas-detection technologies fall into one of four broad categories based on their mode of operation: electrochemical sensors and metal-oxide semiconductor sensors are generally used to detect toxic gases; and infrared and catalytic sensors are used for detecting combustible and explosive gases. Electrochemical. Electrochemical sensors are based on an electrochemical cell whose current increases when the molecule of interest makes contact with the sensing electrode. The target gas may be oxidized or reduced at the working electrode, and a small, but detectable flow of electrons is produced from the reaction there. A measuring electrode and a counter electrode are connected to…
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