Key Concepts in Gas Detection

Gas-detection systems are important front-line watch dogs, and provide many process plants with early notification of dangerous releases. Proper design and layout is critical to the functionality of these systems, but possess a challenge for many users since little standardized guidance is available. A qualified safety professional should be involved in all ultimate design decisions. When designing a gas-detection installation, the user must remember that gas-detection is only one part of a facility's comprehensive safety management plan. To be most useful during facility operation, monitoring system users should address not only how many censors are required and where they will go, but also how the real-time data provided by these devices can be used to improve the overall safety of the plant and it's workers.

Type of Gas Detection

There is a number of methods used to detect the presence of various gas compounds. Typically, the most universally accepted methods are:
» Electrochemical
» Catalytic bead
» Infrared
» Paper tape


Electrochemical gas sensors contain various components designed to react with a specific toxic gas; the reaction generates a current which is measured by the instrument and translated into a concentration value (PPM or PPB).