Biogas production - through plants or digesters - and recycling are encouraged, however biogas remains a factor of global warming. This production, treatment and valorization processes thus require appropriate control and follow-up with biogas monitoring devices. In power plants, treatment and production centers, fixed and/or portable biogas analyzers for worker’s safety are required.
Biogas composition and effects on health
Biogas is composed of several gases with different properties. Amongst them is methane (CH4) – primary gas that composes biogas from 50 to 70% - which is a combustible gas particularly used in power plants (gas turbine). Biogas is also composed of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) – a toxic gas – and carbon dioxide (CO2) – which is an asphyxiating gas – and water vapors (H2O) as well.
As it is mainly composed of methane, biogas is above all a combustible and flammable gas. Because of the presence of hydrogen sulfide, it is also toxic and corrosive. Anaerobic fermentation also implies bacteria and particles that can cause disturbances to humans. Because of that, biogas presence has to be constantly measured and monitored - usually with a biogas analyzer.
Short exposure to high concentrations does not lead to death. Symptoms of this exposure type are breathing tracts and eye irritation. In case of chronic exposure, organ failure can impact the digestive system (abdominal pain) and the brain (chronic tiredness).
Effects on health
As it is mainly composed by methane, the biogas is a combustible gas. It is also toxic and corrosive because of the presence of hydrogene sulphide.
The anaerobic fermentation fermentation also produce bacteria and suspended particles that can cause disturbances to humans.
A brief exposure to high concentrations does not lead to death. The symptoms linked to this kind of exposure are an irritation of the respiratory tracts and eye conjunctivitis).
In case of chronic exposure, some organ failures such as the digestive system (abdominal pain) and the brain (chronic fatigue) have been observed. Thus the use of gas detection devices like a biogas analyzer and wearing the proper respiratory protection equipment is essential.
Biogas detectors and analyzers
Biogas analyzer (fixed or portable)
Biogas is appropriate for cogeneration, which means a combined production of heat and electricity. As their properties can vary, gas turbines will need to adapt to biogas composition. A biogas analyzer (fixed or portable) measures and controls this gas quality for optimal performance.
Biogas detector and area gas monitor
Because of the different gases included in the composition of biogas, the most commonly used personal protective equipment (PPE) is a 4-gas detector (CH4, O2, CO & H2S). Nevertheless, using a multi-gas detector with CH4, O2, CO, CO2 and H2S sensors is more relevant. In addition to portable gas detectors, area gas monitors will ensure monitoring on the full production zone.