RTS Africa Engineering has launched the Hy-Optima 2700 process analyser, a purpose-designed hydrogen (H2) monitoring instrument from RTS Africa’s international California-based principal H2Scan, that enables petrochemical refineries and other process industry applications to monitor and control levels of H2 in refining processes – particularly the monitoring of H2 used in catalytic ‘cracking’, and also in the recycle gas stream.

 Ian Fraser, Managing Director of RTS Africa Engineering

Ian Fraser, Managing Director of RTS Africa Engineering

Managing Director of RTS Africa Engineering, Ian Fraser, explains, “Too much H2 is not good because you have too much energy and it starts to damage the catalyst; and too little H2 is bad because it slows down the process.”

Currently, the traditional methods used by refineries to measure H2 involve the use of gas chromatographs, thermal conductivity meters and density analysers. However, traditional H2 analysers are costly to install and maintain. With these analysers, the sampling times are long; which, in turn, bars process engineers from making decisions based on real-time information.

However, the new explosion-proof Hy-Optima 2700 can be installed at strategic points in a refinery’s process streams, to provide analogue and serial outputs to communicate with an existing SCADA-type control system.

It also uses a solid-state, non-consumable sensor that is configured to operate in process gas streams. “Importantly, the Hy-Optima 2700’s thin film technology makes for an instrument that is not in any way affected or cross-sensitive to other gases in the process stream. The 2700 has been designed to continuously measure only H2 which it does with great and reliable accuracy,” he adds.

“Ultimately, with the improved measurement capability provided by this solution, refineries and other process industries will be able to produce a safer and better product, more time-and-cost-effectively,” concludes Fraser.