Trace level analysis of Helium, hydrogen, argon and neon in natural gas

We would like to analyse trace levels of Helium, hydrogen, argon and neon in natural gas. Could you please suggest the methodologies and the possible columns? Is hydrogen analysis possible on Helium carrier gas if hydrogen concentration is in percentage level? 

  • Hello,

    By using the Scanview app from Agilent, I found this application note:

    Now, if you want to detect helium and hydrogen, I guess you should switch to nitrogen as carrier gas.

  • This is can be a complex GC system depending on if the other natural gas components are required. Agilent does offer solutions for this, but we would need more information.  Please reach out to your local Account Manager to get the correct resources involved to help you design a GC configuration that fits your needs. 

    For helium, hydrogen, argon, and neon a TCD is required.  The conductivity of hydrogen when measured in helium is non-linear, so in order to get a linear response for hydrogen the TCD channel has to use a carrier gas other than helium for the analysis.  Usually argon or nitrogen is used as the carrier gas for the TCD analyzing hydrogen.  Since you are analyzing argon, you will need to use nitrogen carrier.  I see that you have not listed oxygen in your sample, but many times oxygen is actually present in natural gas due to leaks in the sampling and from other sources.  If oxygen is present it will coelute with argon.  

    Figure 2 in the Agilent application note 5991-3199EN shows what you can expect from the detection of hydrogen in helium carrier gas as the concentration increases from 1% to 50%.  

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