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Clean Burning Gas Flare observation with IR Thermography Cameras

13 April 2010


South Africa has a large mining sector, with mining being one of the primary economic drivers for the country. Many of the mineral processing sites, have a range of by-products which need to be managed in some cases from a health and safety point of view. A typical approach is to flare of combustible vapor by-products or surplus gas from the plant.

In many flaring cases, it has been found that some of the vapor is very clean burning, and visual inspection is unsatisfactory to determine if the vapor is indeed being burned as required.

At a recent experimental demo, Optronics Africa used a Xenics GOBI camera to observe the burning of 4 simultaneous gas flares and were able to determine if the flares we indeed burning or not.

The camera used is an a-Si FPA uncooled solution in the 8-14um waveband. It has a resolution of 384 X 288 pixels with a 50Hz frame rate.

The camera was set at a stand-off of approximately 100-200m from the various stacks and was able to clearly observed the gas flares while the processing was in operation. Of particular importance was that two of the flares were indeed invisible to the naked eye, yet showed up clearly on the camera display.

IR image of clean burning gas flare

It is clear that the use of IR imaging in a non-contact stand of configuration with appropriate lens, frame rate  and band can effectively be used in the observation of clean burning gas flares from industrial processes.

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