Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly less dense than air. It is toxic to humans and animals because it interferes with the normal hemoglobin function of carrying oxygen to body tissues.
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Carbon monoxide is the second-most common molecule in the interstellar medium, after molecular hydrogen. On earth, atmospheric CO is present in small amounts primarily as a product of combustion processes. This includes volcanic activity, fires, and fossil fuel burning. In urban areas, CO as an air pollutant originates from internal combustion engines and equipment that burns various fuels in an incomplete or inefficient manner.

Two industrial sources of CO are gasification and steel-making. Gasifier plants produce CO and H2 by reacting an organic feedstock material at high temperatures in an oxygen-deficient atmosphere. The resulting gas can be burned as a fuel. In electric arc furnaces, used in steel-making, CO is produced by various carbon reactions that occur during the melting process.


Carbon Monoxide Gas Analyzer Models

Carbon monoxide gas analysis is required in several industries and applications.

The off-gas stream that results from steel-making applications, such as EAFs, contains CO. Some metal heat treat applications utilize CO as a part of the carbon-containing atmosphere. The CO levels can be dynamically measured in these cases and is usually in the percent levels. Measuring CO in these applications may be important for energy balance, energy recovery, and maintaining product quality.

The toxicity of CO is one reason why a reliable air quality monitor may be required in a facility. Furnaces, boilers, combustion engines, and other processes may give off dangerous amounts of CO. The Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL, by Time-Weighted Average) of CO gas is currently 50 ppm over 8 hrs. Therefore, an air quality monitor that can provide analysis at the ppm level is important.

In combustion applications, such as boilers, furnaces, and heaters, CO measurement can be used with temperature and oxygen content to evaluate efficiency and burner performance. To tune a boiler for maximum efficiency and fuel savings, a portable CO analyzer with fine and coarse ranges is helpful.

The exhaust gas from internal combustion engines can be measured for CO content. Depending on the vintage of the engine, CO analysis on the percent or ppm range may be required. See this page for more info on engine exhaust analysis .

Nova has capability for CO measurement using electrochemical and infrared methodologies. The choice of technology will depend on the application and the range of analysis required.

Our analyzers can be supplied with a built-in sample pump or a pressure regulator to suit most applications.

Carbon Monoxide Analyzers

We manufacture these carbon monoxide gas analyzer models:

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