Creative Gas Detection Solutions

Why Do You Need 10% Vol Oxygen to Operate a Catalytic Bead LEL Sensor?

The catalytic bead lower explosive limit (CB LEL) sensor is widely used for combustible gas detection based on its low cost, ease of use, and the ability to detect a wide range of gases. However, for some special applications, such as environments with less than 10% vol oxygen (O2), the CB LEL sensor is not recommended. Here’s why:

Reason #1: 10% vol O2 allows gas readings up to 100% LEL.

To help you better understand this, let me explain the basic principle of how a catalytic bead LEL sensor works. A catalytic bead LEL sensor senses a combustible gas through flameless combustion that occurs with the help of electrically produced heat and a catalyst material coating on the sensing bead. In other words, a CB LEL sensor detects gas through the actual burning of the gas. This is why it can detect a wide range of gases and can detect multiple gases at the same time. Like three elements of a fire, CB LEL gas sensing requires fuel (combustible gas in this case), heat (by a metal wire coil buried in the sensor bead), and oxygen.

Read more: Why Do You Need 10% Vol Oxygen to Operate a Catalytic Bead LEL Sensor?


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