Ultrafast sensor warns of hydrogen fires
The Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT has developed a mass spectrometer measuring system that analyzes gases of all kinds extremely fast.21 Feb 2018 Roland Ackermann
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).
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