Ensuring safe, reliable and efficient operations


In a development as large as Air Liquide’s hydrogen production unit in Bécancour, Canada, which features what is claimed to be the world’s largest proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer in operation in the world, it is imperative that high quality measurement and control technology is used throughout the site to ensure only high-purity hydrogen gas is produced and distributed.

Such technology is exactly what Québec, Canada-based LDetek has supplied to the site in the form of its HyDetek system. A crucial piece of instrumentation for Air Liquide, the LDetek technology is currently being used to detect traces of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) in hydrogen produced at the plant.

The gas chromatograph uses argon as carrier gas to help reduce operation costs by a factor of four to five times, compared to similar instruments that use helium. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, or GC-MS, requires high quality specialty gases for instrument operation and for calibration. Specialty gases are used as carrier gases (helium is most common), collision gases (nitrogen or helium), and can also include reagent gases.

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