Compliance with Safety Standards through Methane Monitoring

Methane is a component of natural gas and because of its abundance, it is considered to be an attractive form of fuel. For electric generation, methane is used as fuel for the gas turbine and steam boiler. Methane is preferable to other hydrocarbon fuels because it produces less carbon dioxide for every unit of heat released. Methane is also used as vehicle fuel and is claimed to be more environmentally friendly than gasoline or diesel. Liquefied natural gas is predominantly methane but since methane is difficult to transport, it is converted to liquid. One of the hazards of methane is flammability after vaporizing into a gaseous condition hence the need for methane monitoring.

Why liquefied natural gas requires intensive methane monitoring

Cryogenic temperature (defined as from -150 degrees C to absolute 0) associated with liquefied natural gas creates a number of safety concerns for bulk transfer and storage. As a fuel, LNG is requires intensive methane monitoring as it is very difficult to detect leaks because the gas is odorless and colorless. Leaks can only be detected when there is a visible condensation cloud or localized frost formation. In such circumstances the leaks are already sufficiently large. It is therefore essential to install methane analyzer in areas where LNG is transferred and stored. Many potential issues have been identified and addressed to comply with the standards in production, handling and storage of LNG.

Importance of methane monitoring for mining industries

The development of methane monitoring through methane analyzers has helped mining to improve safety and thereby increase revenues. Underground mines are the single largest source of coal mine (CMM). Removing methane gas from the underground mines requires significant safety measures which require methane monitoring equipment. More recently, methane has become quite popular as a fuel because it can be burned to create electricity and now the practice of methane recovery has increased that it became more vital for methane monitoring to be accomplished so that no one will be endangered. Methane monitoring technology which is the result of years of research ensures that every single project has maximized performance. Due to the advances in monitoring methane, it is not surprising for many projects to be established because of the increased safety as well as the protection for the immediate environment.

Landfill gas monitoring

Methane gas from decomposing solid waste can be extremely hazardous that requires regular methane monitoring to ensure that elevated methane conditions are immediately detected before they provide an unsafe environment for landfill workers and the immediate vicinity. In such situations the primary goal of acquiring a methane analyzer would be for purposes of public and worker safety. In some particular areas, landfill regulations require:

  • Methane monitoring at the site perimeter
  • Methane monitoring inside the on-site buildings
  • Monitoring to be conducted weekly
  • Control methane below the allowable limits of 25% of Lower Explosive Limit

The landfill must have permanent methane monitoring points that can be placed along the site perimeter or near the on-site buildings. These locations can be used to demonstrate compliance with the standards that the landfill is a safe working environment.  

Methane monitoring is what I worry about the most because is methane levels aren't what they're supposed to be, it could pose a serious threat in the workplace.
Posted by: George | December 12, 2013, 4:45 pm
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