Ethane verification

Ethan Nachweis When checking the pipeline network and checking underground lines, it is essential to be able to distinguish whether the gas leaking, at a suspected site, is natural gas or digester gas. Since the natural gas always also contains a portion of ethane, the ethane detection can be used to check whether it is really natural gas and whether a leak has been found.

In some situations, damage points are narrowed-down and localized, which can‘t be retraced during damage repair. The gas emissions found were classed as flammable by the use of corresponding measuring techniques. And yet no damage points can be found. Even though post-locating has always resulted in measurements being displayed.

The cause of the constant gas emission can also be due to naturally produced gases e.g. biogas, marsh gas, fermentation gas, landfill emissions, etc. and not just faulty gas mains. In both gases, methane is predominantly present, which can be detected by gas detectors on the ground surface.

A difference in the constitution of both gases can be the solution to the problem, Ethan. Because Natural Gas contains this hydrocarbon compound and the other gases (marsh gas, etc.) don‘t. By determining if ethane is present in the sample, the difference between the two types of gases can be determined.

Important constituents of natural gas  Important constituents of marsh gas
  • H4 Methane
  • C2H6 Ethane
  • C3H8 Propane
  • C4H10 Butane
  • CO2 Carbon dioxide
  • N2 Nitrogen
  • CH4 Methane
  • NH3 Ammonia
  • H2S Hydrogen sulphide
  • CO2 Carbon dioxide

Ethane detection is the method recognised by the DVGW for differentiating between marsh gas und natural gas. If ethane can be detected in a gas sample, it can be certain that
the sample is natural gas out of the gas mains. To separate a gas mixture into its individual components, the measuring principle of gas-chromatography is applied.

For this application we have developed a portable gas chromatograph. The Portable Gas-Chromatograph PGC from Schütz GmbH Messtechnikk. Our GMS 4000 can also be used for this application.

Gasmessgeraet GMS 4000 Portabler Gas-Chromatograph
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