Honeywell Encal 3000 Biogas Analyzer
The Honeywell Encal 3000 Biogas Analyzer is an Elster Encal 3000 gas chromatograph modified to analyze for components typically found in biogas. Biogas must be upgraded to biomethane or RNG to meet specific standards to go into the gas grid. One of those standards is the calorific value which is a measure of the energy contained within a substance. With increasing volumes of upgraded biogas (renewable natural gas or biomethane) incorporated into the gas grid, there is a growing need for gas analyzers.
What is a Biogas Analyzer?
A biogas analyzer provides a measurement of the gas components within a biogas mixture.
Production Driven by Climate Change
The production of biogas as a renewable energy source has soared in the past couple of years. Biogas generation plants are being built worldwide, driven by the search for fossil fuels alternatives and GHG emission reduction programs.
Biogas is not new—It has been generated and used for decades; however, its consumption has largely changed. At one time, most of the biogas was consumed onsite or converted to electricity. Today, an increasing number of biogas generation plants make installations more economical and increase the volume of upgraded biogas (biomethane or RNG) fed into the natural gas grid. The percentage of RNG in the grid is ever-changing, but it is significant and reduces fossil fuel consumption.
Biogas consists of methane, carbon dioxide with trace contaminants. The biogas must be upgraded to feed the biomethane or RNG into a pipeline network. This process includes the removal of water vapor, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and other impurities, which increase the methane content. Renewable natural gas must meet specific standards to go into the gas grid. One of those standards is the calorific value (CV), which measures its heating power and is dependent on the gas composition.
There are various methods to upgrade biogas to RNG. One includes blending the biogas with LPG, which introduces components not typically present in biogas, such as ethane, propane, and butanes. In any case, the biomethane needs to be analyzed to determine its CV with an approved analyzer to determine the heating value and density.
There is a dual benefit when using RNG or biomethane. First, we’re using renewable energy rather than fossil fuels which have limited resources. Second, the capture of escaping greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, wastewater, manure, and other sources prevents methane, a potent GHG, from leaking into the atmosphere.
Honeywell EnCal 3000 Biogas Analyzer
The EnCal 3000 Biogas is a gas chromatograph developed explicitly for the energy measurement of treated biogas feed-in systems. It uses chromatograph components based on the latest MEMS technology (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems) and capillary columns. The EnCal 3000 Biogas is highly accurate and reproducible. The compact analyzer includes an analysis of hardware, the gas sample lines, the route selection, and all the electronics required for the stand-alone operation.
At the heart of the analyzer is the Honeywell EnCal 3000 gas chromatograph, modified to measure all essential components present in biogas. Compounds like H2, O2, and H2S are typically not measured in natural gas heating value determination. These components, however, are measured with the EnCal 3000 Biogas.
The EnCal 3000 Biogas uses different analytical columns than the standard heating value application. The oxygen in the sample must be separated from the nitrogen, which is done best with a mole sieve column. Mole sieve columns are particularly sensitive to CO2 and water. For this reason, the water and CO2 are removed with special filter cartridges inside the gas chromatograph’s housing. If the measurement of hydrogen is required to obtain the best possible results, the EnCal 3000 uses a second carrier gas, argon.
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