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Dissolved Oxygen (O2) Measurement in Blanketing and Inerting Operations : Week 3/28/2014

In our last article, we discussed about an application that is common in variety of Industries - Blanketing and Inerting. In this article we will talk about why oxygen or nitrogen levels monitoring is essential in these applications.

What is the relation of Inerting with Combustion?

In inerting applications, the desired level of oxygen can be maintained by controlling the purging of inert gases like nitrogen as per process requirements. An inerting system decreases the probability of combustion of inflammable materials stored in a confined space like a fuel tank, by maintaining a chemically non-reactive or "inert" gas, such as nitrogen, in such a space.

 

Three elements are required to initiate and sustain combustion - an ignition source (heat), fuel and oxygen. Combustion may be prevented by reducing any one of these three elements. If the presence of an ignition source cannot be prevented within a fuel tank, then the oxygen levels in the tank can be kept low by purging inert gases only.

 

Some other monitoring applications :

 

Lastly, the non-critical, safe area but important applications for monitoring are in utility areas like:

  • Monitoring nitrogen purity by oxygen level measurement in various utility applications
  • Monitoring and controlling oxygen levels in pharma packing applications

 

Monitoring solutions :

Today, on-line type direct mounting oxygen sensors with suitable transmitters are available for all hazardous and non-hazardous applications. For hazardous application, one has to go for an ATEX approved polarographic type of oxygen sensor with the intrinsically safe type 2-wire transmitter, while for non-hazardous application, one can go for a controller unit with direct mounted optical DO sensor.

The solution can be simple :

Direct Oxygen measurement systems are beneficial in inertization and nitrogen blanketing application for reactors and process equipment. This is mainly for two reasons. First, for the safety aspect and second for being price competitive as compared with the traditional extractive type analyzers. This also helps in better product quality manufacturing. Similarly, the advanced sensor technology and intelligent automation of the measurement point enables the user, to get oxygen measurement in an extremely simplified and reliable manner.

 

In our next article, we will discuss further on a fresh new idea.