Hydrogen is used in many branches of the process industry, requiring special care and accurate safety precautions. Because H₂ is extremely flammable and can unexpectedly cause explosions or fires. Therefore, high requirements apply in terms of safety technology and explosion protection. As a rule, it must be ensured that the prevailing H₂ concentrations are well outside the ignitable range. However, so far there has not been a commercially available hydrogen sensor that can continuously analyze dynamic hydrogen pulses.
The online mass spectrometer of the Fraunhofer ICT detects hydrogen with a response time of just 200 milliseconds over the entire measurable concentration range, from 1 ppm to 100%. Since the inlet capillary can be heated, even gas mixtures with a high moisture content can be measured without much trouble. The solution can be easily connected to the process control technology and the turbomolecular pump, which continuously extracts a small amount of the process gas for testing. It is integrated directly into the technical system. The technicians in Pfinztal, however, primarily had hydrogen-powered hybrid vehicles in mind as application scenarios and compared with gasoline , H₂ is generally safer. The Fraunhofer ICT will be represented at the Hanover Fair from April 23 to 27, 2018, as a partner at the Hydrogen + Fuel Cells + Batteries joint booth (Hall 27, booth B74).