Crowcon - Detecting Gas Saving Lives

Waste to Energy


Waste comprises materials that are no longer needed, and thus are discarded. Waste can be classified as solid or liquid according to its form, and further categorised as hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Liquid waste includes municipal wastewater, storm water run-off and industrial wastewater discharge.

Solid waste includes household rubbish, which is also called municipal solid waste (MSW), industrial waste – for example, from agriculture – medical and electronics waste.

The treatment of solid waste is challenging because it may contain one of more contaminants (which may include heavy metals, explosive and flammable materials) and these must be dealt with before the waste can be treated.



Biogas Plants
Refuse Collection
Waste Storage

Gas Hazards in Waste to Energy Sector

Process Area

Typical processes and associated gas detection issues

Biogas Plants

Biogas is produced when organic materials such as agricultural and food waste are broken down by bacteria in an oxygen-deficient environment. This is a process called anaerobic digestion. When the biogas has been captured, it can be used to produce heat and electricity for engines, microturbines and fuel cells. Clearly, biogas has high methane content as well as substantial H2S, and this generates multiple serious gas hazards.

In particular, there is elevated risk of:

  • Fire and explosion
  • Confined space hazards
  • Asphyxiation
  • Gas poisoning (H2S, NH3)
  • Oxygen depletion

Operators in a biogas plants must have personal gas detectors that detect and monitor flammable gas, oxygen and toxic gases like H2S and CO.

Refuse Collection

It is common to find flammable gas CH4 and toxic gases H2S, CO and NH3 in refuse bunkers. Refuse bunkers are built several metres underground and gas detectors are usually mounted high above them, which makes those detectors hard to service and calibrate.

In many cases, a sampling system is a practical solution as air samples can be brought to a convenient location and measured.

Leachate Pool

Leachate is a liquid that drains (leaches) from an area in which waste is collected, and it presents a range of gas hazards. These include the risk of flammable gas (explosion risk), H2S (poison, corrosion), ammonia (poison, corrosion), CO (poison) and adverse oxygen levels (suffocation).

Leachate pool and passageways leading to the leachate pool must be monitored for CH4, H2S, CO, NH3, O2 and CO2. Various gas detectors should be placed along routes to the leachate pool, with output connected to external control panels.

Combustion and heat recovery

Detection of O2 and toxic gases SO2 and CO is vital in boiler house areas.

Exhaust air scrubber

The flue gas from incineration is highly toxic, as it contains pollutants such as NO2, SO2, HCl and dioxin. NO2 and SO2 are major greenhouse gases, while HCL and dioxides are harmful to human health

Ash Pit

It is usual to monitor oxygen and toxic CO in ash pits.

Products for Waste to Energy Industry


Portable 4-in-1 gas detector with new sensor technologies.

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A multi gas detector offering 5 gas support as well as a dedicated pre-entry check mode and optional pump feature.

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A compact and fully ruggedised single gas detector for the toughest of industrial environments.

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Zone 0 approved personal protection solution for detecting the four most common gas hazards. Exclusively with long-life O2 and MPS sensor technologies.

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Fixed Monitors

Fixed multi gas detector.

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Xgard Bright

Addressable fixed head detector with OLED display. Now available with MPS technology.

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Control Panels

Our most flexible gas controller package.

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Addressable Controllers

Local non-intrusive operation & display with simultaneous live reading display and alarm functions via color LCD display.

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Compact, versatile and powerful gas detection control panel.

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Industry Insights

The importance of Gas Detection in the Waste to Energy industry

Waste is composed of materials that are no longer needed, and thus are discarded. Waste can be classified as solid or liquid according to its form, and further categorised as hazardous and non-hazardous waste. 

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Why Gas Detection is Crucial in Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic digestion consists of a series of processes that use microorganisms to decompose organic or biodegradable waste. It is applied intentionally as a method of waste disposal, sewage treatment and to produce biogas fuels.

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NWG Bioenergy

NWG Bioenergy turned to Crowcon for help in monitoring methane, oxygen depletion and hydrogen sulphide risks at their Ridge Road site.

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