For the past few weeks we've been comparing the use of Flammability (FTA) Analyzers and Flame Ionization (FID) Detectors in process applications. We've discussed, reading error, sample accuracy, and fail-safe design, these have all shown that a flammability analyzer is the most reliable and accurate design for continuous use in process applications.  And although some manufacturers offer FIDs for use as flammability analyzers in process applications, they are not recommended. 

Here are some questions to consider when selecting an analyzer to monitor flammable gases in process applications:

  1. Are there non-hydrocarbon flammable substances present in the sample?
  2. If measurement is for %LFL, are measured readings directly reported in % LFL? 
  3. For the Flammable(s) to be measured, now and in the future, how different is the response of one to another?
  4. Are there halogenated hydrocarbons present? 
  5. Are there different isomers of aromatic hydrocarbons present? 
  6. Will there ever be a need to measure the flammability of different VOC’s with the same number of hydrocarbons?
  7. Is there a requirement for a FAIL-SAFE Analyzer?
  8. What happens when the sample flow system clogs?
  9. Are all sample wetted parts heated to match the dew point of your process?

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