Mettler Toledo White Paper Addresses How Hydrogen Impacts Oxygen Analyzers

By Chemical Processing staff

Jan 25, 2013

Tunable diode laser (TDL) oxygen gas analyzers are growing in acceptance across the chemical and petrochemical industries. Their low-maintenance demand, absence of sample extraction and conditioning requirements, tolerance to dust and moisture, and in situ measurement make them highly attractive in many applications, Mettler Toledo reports.

There are two commonly used signal processing techniques employed in oxygen TDL analyzers: wavelength modulation spectroscopy (WMS) and direct absorption spectroscopy (DAS). Both, unlike alternative gas measurement technologies, are immune to cross-interference effects caused by other gases in the process – except if large quantities of hydrogen are present. In these situations, TDL analyzers that use WMS will often report incorrect oxygen levels, whereas analyzers using DAS are unaffected by the presence of hydrogen.

This is because WMS systems have to rely on compensation algorithms, which include assumptions such as a non-varying hydrogen concentration, which is usually not the case. This distinction is important where the analyzer is being used in safety critical applications, as erroneously low oxygen readings are associated with an increased risk of explosions. 

In a new white paper, "The Influence of Hydrogen on the Performance of TDL Analyzers," Mettler Toledo explains why TDL oxygen analyzers with WMS are susceptible to hydrogen and why those with DAS are not.

The white paper is available at