Gas Detection In The Food Processing Industry Using Portable Gas Detectors

Published 25 Sep 2016

Gas Detection

Gas Detection & Detectors for the Food Processing & Beverage Industry

  • By Chris Dodds : estimated reading time 5 minutes

Crowcon Gas Detection

T&D are distributors of Gas Detectors & Detection Equipment for industrial and hazardous area gas detection; this includes both portable and fixed gas detectors for improving site and worker safety in the food processing and beverage industries.

Stationary or fixed gas detectors provide advance warning against explosions, toxicity and oxygen levels by triggering alarms.

Portable gas detectors are suitable for working in confined spaces where mobile monitoring of harmful, flammable and toxic gas levels is required, whether the gas risk is in a safe or hazardous area.

Effective monitoring and detection of gases is essential to provide worker safety in the food and beverage industries where common gas risks include :

  • Ammonia
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Hydrogen chloride
  • Hydrogen cyanide
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Phosphine
  • Combustible gases
  • Oxygen deficiency/enrichment

Typical applications and workplace exposures to gas: confined space entry, cold storage, grain delivery and storage, general safety, flash freezing and data-logging/industrial hygiene.

Gas Detection

Food preparation and processing forms an integral part of the global food supply network and is one of the key factors that has enabled people to enjoy such a varied diet. The preparation and collection of foodstuffs typically involves gas, whether as a bi-product or in the direct preparation of food.

Monitoring these gases is vital to not only guarantee food quality and hygiene but to also protect those working in and around preparation areas. A variety of gases can be present throughout the food and beverage industry and monitoring these effectively can save lives and increase productivity.

Gas is present throughout the food production industry from fresh food produce to processed meals and packaging. Let’s review 2 recent instances where portable gas detectors have improved both safety and productivity.

Crowcon Portable Gas Detectors
T4Gas-ProGas-Pro IRGas-Pro PIDTetra 3ClipGasmanLaser Methane Mini
Crowcon T4Gas-ProGas-Pro IRGas-Pro PIDCrowcon Tetra 3Crowcon ClipCrowcon GasmanCrowcon Laser Methane Mini

Portable Gas Detectors – Helping Hens Lay Eggs

Yes, you read correctly portable gas detectors can help hens when they are laying eggs.

Thorne and Derrick have recently been approached by a client searching for a solution to a rather unusual application. The client required a portable gas detection solution that could be used inside of poultry shelters that would require minimum training.

Portable gas detectors installed inside of poultry shelters are able to monitor the gas levels of the following gases; CO2, O2, NH3 and CH4.

Excess levels of these gases can prevent the hens from laying eggs or stop the eggs that do get laid from hatching.

A portable gas detector with built in data logger could be left in the coop and then removed to monitor the gas level average before being moved to the next coop and repeating the process.

Using a portable gas detector will keep the cost down as only one monitoring device is required and it can move throughout the coops.

Typically with chicken coops and the collection of eggs on a commercial scale, ammonia is the most prominent gas to cause harm and can be easily identified by its smell – a bleach like odour. Poultry farm animals naturally release ammonia gas and proper ventilation and gas detection is vital to protect farmers and anyone working in or around poultry.

T&D, distributors for Crowcon, recommended the Crowcon Gas-Pro Portable Gas Detector as an ideal solution for this application as the monitor is able to detect up to 5 gases at any one time.

There is an option to be able to preset the gases. In this instance the client would preset the gas monitor to detect  CO2, O2, NH3 and CH4. The display screen is top mounted to allow easy reading of the results at a glance.

The Crowcon Gas-Pro gas detector is very simple to use as it is operated by a single button so product training is not required to operate the device.

Crowcon Gas-Pro Gas Detectors

Crowcon Gas-Pro Gas Detectors

Portable Gas Detectors – Keeping Pizza Dough Rising

From eggs to pizza….

A further application that T&D have supplied portable gas detectors for is the production of pizza dough demonstrating the diversity of gas detection requirements in the food industry.

This process can emit carbon dioxide which if left undetected can build up and rise to potentially fatal levels – CO2 displaces oxygen causing potentially fatal suffocation. Oxygen deficiency can also be caused by processes such as food cooling.

The fermentation of sugar and yeast in pizza dough produces carbon dioxide which in turn give the bubbles that appear in a pizza crust when baked. Although delicious when eaten, the levels of CO2 build up in commercial pizza dough production can be dangerous requiring gas detection to alert when levels are too high.

Fermentation - Carbon Dioxide Gas Detection

Brewing – Fermentation is also used to make alcohol when producing drinks such as beer, wine and cider. In brewing, alcoholic fermentation is the conversion of sugar into carbon dioxide gas (CO2) and ethyl alcohol.

If CO2 levels rise above 1,000 ppm workers can begin to experience headaches and drowsiness. If left unresolved or undetected, CO2 levels rising to 5,000 ppm will exceed safe workplace limits resulting in staff not being able to work, hampering production and incurring financial losses.

If the levels of carbon dioxide remain undetected and rise above 40,000 ppm this can lead to serious oxygen depletion resulting in brain damage, coma and ultimately death.

Portable gas detectors can be attached to clothing, overalls and transported around within manufacturing areas for the detection of carbon dioxide and other gases.

Portable Gas Detection

Gas Detectors – single gas and multi-gas detectors are capable for detecting up to 5 gases

Portable Gas Detectors

The range of portable gas detectors distributed by T&D can detect many gases with certain detectors able to monitor up to 5 gases. With products available from leading brands such as Crowcon, T&D gas detector sales engineers are on hand to specify the correct portable gas detector for your needs.

The 4 key gases (but not limited to) that portable gas detectors are typically deployed for are Methane, Hydrogen Sulphide, Carbon Monoxide and Oxygen depletion (lack of Oxygen).

Portable gas detection offers a cost effective solution to a potentially fatal problem. The products easily pay for themselves in terms of saved revenue in keeping production going but also in preventing loss of life from toxic gas level exposure.

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Hazardous area industries including offshore oil/gas platforms and FPSOs, onshore oil refineries, processing plants, pipelines, storage farms and LPG/LNG plants all utilise or produce a wide range of hazardous flammable liquids and gases that can be detected using correctly specified flame and gas detectors.

Detecting toxic and flammable gases requires the detectors to be classified and certified according to the specific IECEx or ATEX standard – we distribute flame and fire detectors manufactured by Spectrex to operate in the harshest environmental conditions including self-contained stand-alone devices designed for direct connection to control and alarm systems or automatic fire extinguishing systems.

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