After some scheduling problems resulting in missing a monthly technical evening, the Vaal branch hosted SICK Automation to discuss ‘Dust and gas measurement principles’. Our presenter for the evening was the very knowledgeable Deon Lottering, sales engineer for process automation at SICK.
He started by looking at the regulatory requirements as stipulated by the National Emissions Management: Air Quality Act. The Act lays out the requirements relating to instrument certification, initial calibration at installation, periodic zero and span calibrations after installation, as well as yearly linearity and calibration checks. With the Eskoms and Sasols of the country all having to comply with the Act, it was important to talk about what is required.
Next, the different types of analysers were presented. A quick overview of and the differences between off-line, in-line and on-line were explained. Off-line means manually taking samples and analysing them in a laboratory. In-line takes its measurements directly in the process flow path, whereas on-line extracts a sample to be processed elsewhere.
A light source and detector are used for both gas and dust measurements. Different gases absorb light at different wavelengths, so for gas analysis the composition is determined by using a known light source spectrum and measuring the resultant spectrum after the light has passed through the gas. For dust measurement, the Beer-Lambert law of transmittance and absorbance is used to calculate the dust burden, based on the amount of light transmitted and received.
The branch committee thanks Deon Lottering and SICK Automation for a most informative presentation.
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