Pellistor gas sensors (or catalytic bead gas sensors) have been the primary technology for detecting flammable gases since the ‘60s. Despite having discussed a number of issues relating to the detection of flammable gases and VOC, we have not yet looked at how pellistors work. To make up for this, we are including a video explanation, which we hope you will download and use as part of any training you are conducting
In gas detection terms, pellistors have been the primary technology for detecting flammable gases since the 60s. In most circumstances, with correct maintenance, pellistors are a reliable, cost-effective means of monitoring for combustible levels of flammable gases. However, there circumstances under which this technology may not be the best choice, and infrared (IR) technology should be considered instead.
After last week’s comparative levity, this week, I am discussing something rather more serious.
When it comes to detecting hydrocarbons, we often don’t have a cylinder of target gas available to perform a straight calibration, so we use a surrogate gas and cross calibrate. This is a problem because pellistor’s give relative responses to different flammable gases at different levels. Hence, with a small molecule gas like methane a pellistor is more sensitive and gives a higher reading than a heavy hydrocarbon like kerosene.