Sensors That Make Buildings Smart!
 
Sensor Characteristics
Gas Glossary
   
Chemical Data On Various Gases
Ammonia
Butane
Carbon Monoxide
Chloramine
Chlorine
Hydrogen
Hydrogen Sulfide
Methane
Nitrogen Dioxide
Oxygen
Propane
   

 

 

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A Ammonia (R-717)
C Carbon Dioxide
  Carbon Monoxide
  Chlorine / Chloramine
  Combustibles
H Hydrogen
  Hydrogen Sulfide
M Methane
N Natural Gas
  Nitrogen Dioxide
O Oxygen
P Propane
R R-11 (Trichlorofluoromethane) CFC
  R-12 (Dichlorodifluoromethane) CFC
  R-22 (Chlorodifluromethane) HCFC
  R-123 (Dichlorotrifluroethane) HCFC
  R-134a (Tetrafluoroethane) HFC

Ammonia (R-717)

Colorless gas; very pungent odor. Lower limit of human perception is 53 ppm. Mixtures of Ammonia and air will explode when ignited under favorable conditions.

Potential symptoms of overexposure are eye, nose and throat irritation; dyspnea, bronchospasm and chest pain; pulmonary edema; pink frothy sputum, skin burns and vesiculation. (Merck Index)

 

Carbon Dioxide

Colorless, odorless, non-combustible gas.

Potential symptoms of overexposure are headache, dizziness, restlessness and paresthesia; dyspnea; sweating, malaise; increased heart rate and pulse pressure; elevated blood pressure; coma; asphyxia; and convulsions at high concentrations. (Merck Index)

 

 

Carbon Monoxide

Highly poisonous, odorless, colorless, tasteless gas.

Combines with the hemoglobin of the blood to form carboxyhemoglobin which is useless as an oxygen carrier. Toxic symptoms include: headache, mental dullness, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, loss of muscular control, increased then decreased pulse and respiratory rate, collapse, unconsciousness and death. (Merck Index)

 

Chlorine/Chloramine

Chlorine may be in the form of liquid or gas. Liquid Chlorine is a clear amber-colored liquid. Gaseous chlorine is greenish-yellow. Chlorine has a disagreeable and suffocating odor with an irritating effect on the nose and throat. It is widely used as a disinfectant and bleach for household as well as industries.

Chloramine is the byproduct of the interaction of chlorine in water. The best way to measure and control and measure for Chloramine is to measure chlorine as it is produced by Chloramine

" Inhalation of low concentrations of Chlorine causes respiratory reflexes, coughing, a sharp stinging in the eyes, a general feeling of discomfort in the chest, nausea and vomiting. At high concentrations, chlorine causes pulmonary swelling and it is fatal.

Spacing:

Sensors do not have a "capable radius" or "area of coverage" In order for a sensor to detect a gas concentration, the gas must migrate from the source location to the sensor location. As this distance from the source to the sensor increases the migration time also increases as does the time to detection and time to alarm. As a general guide we suggest minimum spacing of 5000 sq.ft and maximum spacing of 0,000 sq.ft for each sensor.

 

 

Combustibles

Combustible gases all have a Lower Explosive Limit (LEL). The LEL is the minimum concentration of combustible gas in a space at which combustion will occur given a source of ignition. Common combustible gases include methane (natural gas), propane, butane, hydrogen.

The most common combustible gas is Methane. It is widely distributed in nature and represents approximately 85% of American natural gas. It is colorless and odorless, non-poisonous and burns with a pale, faintly luminous flame.

The LEL of methane is 5.53% by volume in air

Note: Each combustible gas has a different LEL percentage

Spacing:

Sensors do not have a "capable radius" or "area of coverage" In order for a sensor to detect a gas concentration; the gas must migrate from the source location to the sensor location. As this distance from the source to the sensor increases the migration time also increases as does the time to detection and time to alarm. As a general guide we suggest minimum spacing of 5000 sq.ft and maximum spacing of 0,000 sq.ft for each sensor.

 

 

Hydrogen

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. It is colorless, odorless and tasteless gas; flammable when mixed with air, oxygen, chlorine, etc. It has no specific toxic action. In high concentrations it can act as a simple as Asphyxiant. (Merck Index)

 

 

Hydrogen Sulfide

H2S is a by-product of oil and gas production operations. It is contained within gas or crude oil underground. When a well that produces oil or gas contains hydrogen sulfide, it is call a sour well, when it doesn't it is called a sweet well.

Hydrogen sulfide is also released during the decaying of organic materials such as in sewage treatment plants.

It is a toxic gas that is extremely poisonous in very small quantities. Although the odor can be detected at a very low concentration, the sense of smell is lost in just a few minutes after exposure, due to olfactory fatigue. This makes it impossible to sense dangerous concentrations.

Inhaling H2S at a few hundred ppm may result in acute poisoning, and although the gas is an irritant, the systemic effects from absorption of H2S in the blood stream overshadow the irritant effects.

When the amount of gas absorbed by the blood exceeds that which is readily oxidized, systemic poisoning results, with a general action on the nervous system. Within seconds and without warning unconsciousness and collapse can occur. For that reason many persons have lost their lives attempting to save a victim who has collapsed from exposure.

Spacing:

Sensors do not have a "capable radius" or "area of coverage" In order for a sensor to detect a gas concentration, the gas must migrate from the source location to the sensor location. As this distance from the source to the sensor increases the migration time also increases as does the time to detection and time to alarm. As a general guide we suggest minimum spacing of 5000 sq.ft and maximum spacing of 0,000 sq.ft for each sensor.

 

Methane

Colorless, odorless, non-poisonous, flammable gas. Burns with a pale, faintly luminous flame. Form explosive mixtures with air. Air containing less that 5.53% methane no longer explodes. Air containing more than 14% methane burns without noise. Methane is also a simple asphyxiant. (Merck Index)

 

Oxygen

Under normal conditions air contains 20.9% oxygen. Oxygen levels in excess of 20.9 enhance combustion. Oxygen levels significantly below 20.9% will cause suffocation.

Oxygen sensor are commonly used to detect the presence of inert gases which displace oxygen. Common applications are MRI rooms in order to detect the leaking of inert gases which are used to cool the MRI apparatus.

Spacing:

Sensors do not have a "capable radius" or "area of coverage" In order for a sensor to detect a gas concentration, the gas must migrate from the source location to the sensor location. As this distance from the source to the sensor increases the migration time also increases as does the time to detection and time to alarm. As a general guide we suggest minimum spacing of 5000 sq.ft and maximum spacing of 10,000 sq.ft for each sensor.

 

 

Natural Gas

Typically contains 85% methane which is a colorless, odorless, non-poisonous, flammable gas. Burns with a pale, faintly luminous flame. Form explosive mixtures with air. Air containing less that 5.53% methane no longer explodes. Air containing more than 14% methane burns without noise. Methane is also a simple asphyxiant. (Merck Index)

 

 

Nitrogen Dioxide

Reddish-brown gas. Irritating odor. Deadly poison!

Potential symptoms of overexposure are coughing, mucoid frothy sputum and dyspnea, chest pain, pulmonary edema, cyanosis, tachypnea and tachycardia; eye irritation. One of the most insidious gases. Inflammation of lungs may cause only slight pain or pass unnoticed, but the resulting edema several days later may cause death. 100 ppm is dangerous for even a short exposure, and 200 ppm may be fatal. (Merck Index)

 

 

Propane

Gas is odorless when pure. Burns with a smoky flame. Will not explode at volume of less than 2.37% in air or more that 9.5% in air. Potential symptoms of overexposure are dizziness, disorientation, excitation and frostbite. (Merck Index)

 

 

R-11 (Trichlorofluoromethane) CFC

Liquid at temperatures below 23.7 degrees F. Faint ethereal odor. Non-flammable.

Potential symptoms of overexposure are incoordination, tremors; dermatitis; frostbite; cardiac arrhythmias and cardiac arrest. (Merck Index)

 

 

R-12 (Dichlorodifluoromethane) CFC

Colorless, practically odorless, non-corrosive, nonirritating, nonflammable gas. Faint, ether-like odor in high concentrations.

Potential Health Effects

Inhalation of high concentrations of vapor is harmful and may cause heart irregularities, unconsciousness, or death. Intentional misuse or deliberate inhalation may cause death without warning. Vapor reduces oxygen available for breathing and is heavier than air. Liquid contact can cause frostbite. May cause eye irritation.

Human health effects of overexposure by eye contact with the vapor may include eye irritation with discomfort, tearing, or blurring of vision. Skin contact with the liquid may cause frostbite. Inhalation of the vapors may cause temporary nervous system depression with anesthetic effects such as dizziness, headache, confusion, incoordination, and loss of consciousness; temporary alteration of the heart's electrical activity with irregular pulse, palpitations, or inadequate circulation, or the effects of exclusion of oxygen with grossly excessive exposures.

Individuals with preexisting diseases of the central nervous or cardiovascular system may have increased susceptibility to the toxicity of excessive exposures.

Carcinogenicity Information

None of the components present in this material at concentrations equal to or greater than 0.1% are listed by IARC, NTP, OSHA or ACGIH as a carcinogen.

 

 

R-22 (Chlorodifluromethane) HCFC

Colorless, volatile liquid with a slight ethererial and faint sweetish odor. Non-flammable material

Potential Health Effects

Inhalation of high concentrations of vapor is harmful and may cause heart irregularities, unconsciousness or death. Intentional misuse or deliberate inhalation may cause death without warning. Vapor reduces oxygen available for breathing and is heavier than air.

Skin contact with the liquid may include frostbite. Prolonged overexposure may cause defatting or dryness of the skin. Eye contact with liquid may include eye irritation with discomfort, tearing, or blurring of vision.

Inhalation may include temporary nervous system depression with anesthetic effects such as dizziness, headache, confusion, incoordination, and loss of consciousness.

Higher exposures may lead to temporary alteration of the heart's electrical activity with irregular pulse, palpitations, or inadequate circulation. Fatality may occur from gross overexposure. Individuals with preexisting diseases of the central nervous or cardiovascular system may have increased susceptibility to the toxicity of excessive exposures.

Carcinogenicity Information

None of the components present in this material at concentrations equal to or greater than 0.1% are listed by IARC, NTP, OSHA or ACGIH as a carcinogen.

 

 

R-123 (Dichlorotrifluroethane) HCFC

The gas is colorless with a sight ether odor. It is non-flammable up to a temperature of 100 degrees C at atmospheric pressure.

Potential Health Effects

Inhalation of high concentrations of vapor is harmful and may cause heart irregularities, unconsciousness, or death. Intentional misuse or deliberate inhalation may cause death without warning. Vapor reduces oxygen available for breathing and is heavier than air. Product causes mild eye irritation. Decomposition products are hazardous.

Eye contact may cause irritation with discomfort, tearing, or blurring of vision.

Overexposure by inhalation may cause liver damage with altered enzyme levels, and temporary nervous system depression with anesthetic effects such as dizziness, weakness, headache, confusion, incoordination, and loss of consciousness. With overexposure (>2%), possibly temporary alteration of the heart's electrical activity with irregular pulse, palpitations, or inadequate circulation. Increased susceptibility to the effects of this material may observed in persons with pre-existing disease of the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and liver.

Carcinogenicity Information

None of the components present in this material at concentrations equal to or greater than 0.1% are listed by IARC, NTP, OSHA or ACGIH as a carcinogen.

 

 

R-134a (Tetrafluoroethane) HFC

Inert under ordinary conditions.

Potential Health Effects

INHALATION:  Gross overexposure may cause: Central nervous system depression with dizziness, confusion, incoordination, drowsiness or unconsciousness. Irregular heart beat with a strange sensation in the chest, "heart thumping", apprehension, lightheadedness, feeling of fainting, dizziness, weakness, sometimes progressing to loss of consciousness and death. Suffocation, if air is displaced by vapors.

SKIN CONTACT:  Immediate effects of overexposure may include: Frostbite, if liquid or escaping vapor contacts the skin.

EYE CONTACT:  "Frostbite-like" effects may occur if the liquid or escaping vapors contact the eyes.

ADDITIONAL HEALTH EFFECTS:  Increased susceptibility to the effects of this material may be observed in persons with pre-existing disease of the: central nervous system, cardiovascular system.

Carcinogenicity Information

None of the components present in this material at concentrations equal to or greater than 0.1% are listed by IARC, NTP, OSHA or ACGIH as a carcinogen.


 
Published: February 16, 2004 Last Updated: June 10, 2008