Natural Gas/Landfill Gas/Methane Gas
If you need testing services for the natural gas, landfill gas or biogas/methane, ORTECH Environmental can help.
Our laboratories also specializes in the detailed analysis of reduced sulfur compounds in samples from various industrial facilities where they may be responsible for odour complaints and in fuel gas samples where they may be added as odorants. Other analyses which are conducted include fixed gases, permanent gases and higher boiling point hydrocarbons. ORTECH also offers analytical services for a wide range of ambient air quality parameters utilizing methodologies that are accepted by regulatory agencies.
Specific analytical capabilities are:
Fuel Heating Value Determination
The heating value and other properties of fuel gases, such as natural gas and biogas, can vary significantly with time and both gas suppliers and their customers may need to know the heating value of a supply on a periodic, such as monthly, or on a spot basis. ORTECH provides a heating value and natural gas property determination service to a number of our clients and is certified separately by Measurement Canada to carry out these determinations on both natural gas and biogas. These determinations require the analysis of methane in a sample but also the composition including analysis of fixed gases and trace amounts of other hydrocarbons which may contribute to the overall heating value. Generally, Gas Producers Association and ASTM methods are used.
Landfill Gas and Biogas Analysis
Heating values, gas composition and the physical properties of landfill gas and biogas are determined in the same way as they are for natural gas, although these gases primarily contain methane, carbon dioxide and air compared with natural gas which is principally methane. ORTECH can also conduct extensive field or laboratory sampling and analysis of these gases for all types of contaminants both before and after combustion.
Natural Gas Analysis
In addition to determining the heating value of natural gas based on the analysis of fixed gases and hydrocarbons, ORTECH can determine the physical properties such as moisture content, sample pressure, air contamination, density, specific gravity, Wobbe Index, gas compressibility and condensation temperatures. Additional analyses of contaminants in the natural gas which may affect pipeline distribution, pipeline corrosion, deterioration of combustion equipment and combustion characteristics include reduced sulfur compound odorants, particulate matter, metals, siloxanes and condensable organic material. The analysis for specific organic chemicals enables the condensation dew point to be calculated.
Fixed Gas Analysis
ORTECH specializes in the sampling and analysis of fixed gases (oxygen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, permanent gases and moisture primarily) in a variety of processes and products. Examples are the assessment of consumer products such gas detectors and the analysis of off-gassing samples. Another example is the continuous field sampling and analysis of these gases from combustion sources at industrial facilities, coal-fired generating stations, incinerators, cement plant and steel works. These programs may also include sampling and analysis of related gases such as sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides as well as the certification of plant analyzers used for greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting.
With increasing emphasis on the use of biomass as both a source of energy and as a nutrient such as the application of manure on agricultural fields, regulations require that the biomass is sampled and analyzed before it is used. These analyses may include an odour evaluation to determine the odour release potential or analysis for specific hazardous contaminants such as metals and pathogens. ORTECH has the expertise to collect biomass samples based on standard protocols and manage the required analytical programs either in their own laboratories or in laboratories which have expertise with specific contaminants.
ORTECH has extensive experience in the collection of natural gas, landfill gas and biogas field samples for analysis. This includes sampling at high pressure gas mains which enter facilities such as industrial plant and gas turbine generating stations. These facilities require strict adherence to safety procedures and a thorough knowledge of how the samples should be collected based on the analyses required. If preferred, ORTECH can provide the equipment and training to allow staff at the facility to collect and ship the samples to ORTECH for analysis.
Reduced Sulphur Compound Analysis
Reduced sulfur compounds are frequently responsible for odour complaints from facilities such as sewage treatment plants, steel works, pulp & paper mills, and composting. Some of these compounds are added to natural gas, which otherwise has no odour, so that dangerous leaks can be detected by odour. For each of these situations ORTECH can collect air samples and analyze them in the laboratory for a series of reduced sulfur compounds which include hydrogen sulfide, carbon disulfide, mercaptans, organic sulfides and thiophenes. Portable field analyzers for hydrogen sulfide analysis are also available. In many cases the emissions of reduced sulfur compounds can be correlated with odour emissions and the potential for odour complaints assessed.
Volatile Organic Compound Analysis
In addition to the analysis of natural gas samples for hydrocarbons, ORTECH analyzes air samples for volatile organic compounds using gas chromatography/flame ionization or gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry techniques, as required. Continuous analyzers such as total hydrocarbon analyzers are used frequently to measure volatile organic compound concentrations without identifying or quantifying the individual components and are useful for assessing the efficiency of combustion processes.
With regard to the sampling and analysis of natural gas and biogas samples, ORTECH provides consultation on how such programs can be planned to demonstrate compliance with specifications or government regulations.
Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Analysis
ORTECH has extensive experience in collecting and analyzing ambient air samples for a variety of air quality parameters. These methodologies provide method detection limits that are appropriate for ambient concentration levels and NIST traceable calibration standards are utilized. ORTECH offers monitoring and analysis plans that are tailored for each application. The ORTECH quality management system for the design and provision of ambient air quality monitoring and organic analysis services has been registered since 1994 (ISO 9001:2000).