Natural Gas Measurement, Underground Utilities and More Blog

We provide insights on natural gas measurement, underground utility damage prevention, utility contractor services and various natural gas products. Formerly the Linc Energy Blog.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Archives
    Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.

What is odor fade? What causes odor loss of odorized natural gas?

by | on | in Natural Gas Products | 0 Comments

While smelling natural gas is the first warning that there is a gas leak, it is not foolproof. Here are reasons you may NOT smell the odorant in gas during a gas leak.

 In need of an odorizer? Request a quote.

Natural Gas Odorization

odor fade, pipeline conditioningWe represent GPL Odorizers and also provide contract services for pipline conditioning.Gas companies odorize natural gas (i.e., inject odorant into the gas) to make it detectable through smell for safety reasons. The process of natural gas odorization, particularly with an odorant injection system, provides an accurate injection of the correct amount of odorant. However, at times the gas does not smell, and while the tendency may be to look at the odorizer as the cause, there are pipeline conditions and other circumstances that may impede smelling the odorant in gas.

Odor Fade

Odor fade is a condition where there is a loss of odorant in the gas stream to such a level that the gas becomes undetectable. In this case, the odorant compound may decompose and change composition, or the odorant may be physically removed or pulled from the gas. In any case, there is a significant loss of odor. These are mostly chemical processes of either adsorption, absorption, or oxidation, and occur in generally new gas pipe installations. While odor fade is more common in new large diameter steel pipes of long pipelines, it can also happen in shorter and smaller diameter PE (polyethylene) lines.
Other situations that may cause odor fade are:

  • During some gas leaks, the odorant may strip from the gas when seeping into some soils or concrete.
  • Rust, moisture, liquids or other foreign substances in the pipe can create a loss of odorant.
  • Some odorizers cannot correctly odorize during low or intermittent gas flow conditions, causing odor fade.

Gas companies routinely perform pipe pickling, to prepare the new pipelines before use. This process is also called pipeline conditioning or pre-odorization. If you are a gas company needs natural gas pipe pickling or pipeline conditioning, request a quote here.

Request a Quote

Odor Loss

There are other conditions causing odor loss, and while they are not "odor fade" they present the risk of failing to smell natural gas odorant.

  1. Olfactory Fatigue - Olfactory fatigue, or odor fatigue, occurs when there has been prolonged exposure to a specific compound. It is usually temporary and customary for people who work around natural gas odorants. In these cases, the person may be unable to recognize that odorant is present or that there have been changes in the odor level. Employers are encouraged to have gas detectors in these cases where their employees are routinely exposed to odorants.
  2. Smell Disorders - When someone suffers from anosmia, he or she is unable to smell, and those with hyposmia have a diminished capacity to smell. In either case, the sufferer may likely be unable to detect the odorant injected into gas.
  3. Sleeping - It is probable that people in deep stages of sleep will not smell odorant in a gas leak.
  4. Odor Masking - Odor masking occurs when one or more compounds in the gas stream can alter or reduce the perceived odorant smell. In this case, the odorant may still be present, but the scent has changed.

For those with a smell disorder or those concerned about odor fatigue, odor masking, or concerns of failing to smell while sleeping, there is always gas detectors and other measures to keep you safe.

Hits: 181 Rate this blog entry
Rate this blog entry:
Trackback URL for this blog entry.

About The Author

Garrett Cox is a sales associate at Linc Energy Systems. He sells to our southern-most territory, including the front range of Colorado and New Mexico. Garrett specializes in damage prevention and blogs about how excavators, contractors, facility owners and operators can practice safe digging and promotes new methods to protect underground utilities.

Comments

  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Sunday, 18 November 2018
Powered by EasyBlog for Joomla!