It's important to find the appropriate analyzer for your application. Often times there are a few choices but when the data is appropriately assessed there is usually one that will do the job safely and accurately.
One of our customers, a leading developer and producer of advanced fuels and green chemicals, found themselves in a situation where they were not using the best gas detection system for their application needs. They use a gasification process that breaks down wood chips, waste and other feedstock using plasma technology. The process produces a uniform synthetic gas (syngas) that is used to power their turbine engines. They measure the total calorific value of the syngas in order to optimize engine performance.
They were using a gas chromatograph to take the gas measurements. The problem with this technology was that the GC only gave them readings for low chain hydrocarbons and measurement in batch-mode. It did not capture Benzene or other high carbon chain molecules. So they had to make time-consuming calculations to include all of these unknowns. This led to operating the engines for worst case and not optimum efficiency.
The key is this situation was to find a system that could make real time measurements of what was actually in the sample. Then they would be able to increase the capacity and efficiency of the gas engine. They would know exactly what was happening and would not have to operate under worst case conditions.
That's when we suggested a micro combustion type calorimeter. It completely burns the syngas sample and therefore is a direct measure of the total calorific value. It accurately reads the varying compositions and concentrations of all the gases in the syngas stream. Since this analyzer reads continuously, it measures in real-time mode to provide dynamic control of the engine. This accurate measurement would allow them to determine the proper oxygen levels needed for complete combustion to their engines.
Read the Biofuels case history to find out more details.