Laser gas detection has become well established during the past decade in a variety of safety, environmental and process monitoring applications which have challenged traditional gas detection technologies. Laser gas detection is a high resolution measurement technique which gives a gas specific response that greatly reduces the risk of both missed detection and false alarms. Being a direct optical measurement it does not suffer from problems associated with reactive gases and contamination in sampling systems. One second response times make the laser technique ideally suited to critical safety and process control applications. Laser instruments use no consumables and have no moving parts resulting in significantly reduced operational and maintenance requirements.
Open path laser measurements, when combined with meteorological data, yield well to analysis by various flux calculation models. Laser gas detectors are available in both portable and fixed monitoring configurations.
This paper describes the uses and benefits of laser gas detection in a variety of fertiliser related applications: safety and process monitoring in ammonia and urea production, storage and transportation; hydrogen fluoride monitoring in phosphate plants; monitoring the magnitude and fate
of releases of ammonia to the atmosphere during fertiliser application. Data from existing installations and field trials are presented.