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Safe Testing of Catalytic Devices in Hydrogen-Air Flow


Any experimental study of catalysts and catalytic recombining devices for removal of hydrogen gas from industrial environments is known to carry a risk of ignition of hydrogen. Experiments conducted in an atmosphere with a high concentration of hydrogen present a particular danger. Here, a technique is reported that allows conducting such experiments with relative safety. This technique has been developed and applied by the company ‘Russian Energy Technologies’ for the last five years without any significant incident.
A “Gas stream method” for testing and analysis of the characteristics of a catalyst for hydrogen/oxygen recombination is proposed. Tests with a variety of catalysts in a passive recombining device were carried out in a climatic chamber (86 l in volume) with a hydrogen/air mixture containing up to 20% (v/v) hydrogen flowing through it. The balance equation for hydrogen and oxygen flows entering, reacting and exiting the chamber led to a formula for calculating the efficiency of a catalyst or a catalytic device under stationary conditions.
Fluctuations in local temperatures of the catalyst and other parts of the chamber along with variation in the concentration of hydrogen gave the authors an insight into the thermal regime of an active catalyst. This enabled them to develop new catalysts for removal of hydrogen from the environment using industrial recombining devices.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Russian Federation

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