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An optical gas analysis system that uses a laser to produce a specific wavelength of light tuned to an absorption line, the known light frequency of the ‘target’ gas, is now available from IMA.

The ability to determine the moisture concentration and other problem gases, like hydrogen sulphide, in process streams is important for plant safety, improving process efficiency and preserving plant assets in refineries and chemical processing industries.

Among the most significant of the technologies to advance such detection and measurement is the tunable diode laser (TDL)-based absorption spectroscopy gas analysers.

The development of today’s extractive TDL is the culmination of research by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory for use on Mars.

The use of TDL technology makes it possible to alleviate the problems of using older technologies.

This technique produces an analyser with a fast response speed, where the laser light stimulates vibrations and rotation in the molecule, resulting in energy absorption, thereby enabling the sensing of water vapour and other gases.

Gas concentration is calculated by measuring the difference in the amount of light received via the TDL analyser’s built-in detector.

According to Paul Stockwell, managing director of IMA, which represents Spectrasensors in the UK, the analysers provide a fast, accurate response and low maintenance.

The TDL analyser system design uses an extractive-type sample system.

With its condensed design, the extractive TDL analyser is small enough to permit installation virtually anywhere in a plant.

The long optical path of the cell enables the sensitive measurements of trace gases in small volumes.

The advantage of the extractive TDL is its ability to measure trace levels for process control.

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