Further proof on the applicability of the NIRONE Sensors in hydrocarbon gas measurements

A recently published report by Sweelssen et al. yields further evidence on the applicability of NIRONE Sensors in hydrocarbon gas measurements. The tunable filter infrared spectrometry i.e. NIRONE Sensors in accordance with newly developed capacitive sensor array to measure methane number. The methane number is a measure for the LNG quality or combustion performance of the gas.


Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is a major challenge. Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) is becoming more important in the energy transition from oil-based products in heating and transportation to lower the CO2 emissions and backup sources for wind and solar energy are needed. However, LNG composition is not constant but varies significantly between the various production locations around the world, and the layering of hydrocarbons with different molecular weights takes place even in LNG containers. 


According to the researchers “This is especially critical for LNG engines, in which the ignition properties of the gas depend heavily on the fuel quality or Methane Number (MN) of the gas. For optimised engine operation and motor management, this fuel quality should be measured regularly, preferably online, and by a small and low-cost sensor.”


The study demonstrated that the tunable filter sensor (NIRONE) enabled fast gas measurements and was most stable and accurate on ethane. It was also very capable of analysing and separating methane, propane, and iso-butane. Additionally, it was found that the electronic capacitive sensor was better suited to assess the higher hydrocarbons, whereas the infrared sensor showed higher selectivity for the lower hydrocarbons.


As a summary The NIRONE S2.0 sensor utilized in the study is small, low cost, and has a low power requirement, making it suitable for use within production and transportation environments. Additionally, the sensor is not in contact with the target gas and can operate relatively remotely from the cold fuel or hot exhaust gasses.


Available online


Read also previous study by Sweelsen et al. using  NIRONE Sensors In Hydrocarbon Gas Measurements and our article Industry 4.0 And How Smart Sensors Make The Difference.


For further information on the Spectral Engines’ MEMS-based NIR spectral sensors please read more at: