Gas suppliers must monitor the quality of the natural gas. This consists of over 80 % methane, as well as ethane, butane, propane, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Individual types of natural gas differ, sometimes considerably, in their composition; they contain varying amounts of the individual gases mentioned. However, this is of minor importance for gas applications. In practice, the important parameters have to be determined:
- Calorific value of the gas
- Methane number
- Wobbe-Index (quality determination of fuel gases such as natural and town gas)
Our gas analysis devices determine these parameters in the natural gas industry and at suppliers such as municipal utilities. A common analytical method is IR spectroscopy (infrared spectroscopy), which enables rapid gas analysis. It operates with infrared radiation of wavelengths 800 nm to 1.0 mm and analyses the energy states in molecules. The analysis is based on the identification of the gas mixture using a reference spectrum. Alternatively, gas chromatography (GC) can be used, whose selectivity is even higher but requires a much longer response time. It is also expensive in terms of equipment and requires a lot of maintenance.