Where there is smoke, there is fire

CO Monitoring SystemsSpray- and fluidized bed dryers offer drying options for a vast variety of products and powders. A large group of these products is sensitive to fire and explosion. It is common knowledge that dryers have to be designed according to risk analysis standards and equipped with preventive and constructive methods to minimize the impact of such an event.

One way to reduce the chances of such an event, gas analysis systems such as carbon monoxide (CO) units can be used to monitor the production process and indicate oxidation products in gas form that could indicate smoldering product, for example, from Maillard reaction.

A sophisticated sample conditioning system checks streams of process air for CO content roughly every minute. This is achieved by pumping fresh supply air and process off-gas into the analyzing unit and comparing the levels of carbon monoxide fractions. These systems may consist of condensate coolers, NDIR gas filter correlation analyzer, and sample probes for various applications. If the process off-gas contains a higher CO value than the fresh supply air, alarm levels are triggered.

CO – monitoring systems are usually stand-alone units that communicate their results with the process control modules on a multi-level alarm mode. It is important to use safe communication platforms to ensure the right actions like an emergency shut down of a plant or even starting a deluge system based on CO levels. This may extinguish a fire before energy levels hit a devastating temperature field.

Often stand-alone systems are added to a plant without a thorough integration concept regarding the hygienics or handling aspects. It is essential to ensure a good application of safety equipment in your process.

The key to introducing such a CO monitoring system as one component of a holistic safety approach is to know how your product will react under the influence of oxygen and what the reaction products will be for each regime. Testing your product for CO emissions is crucial to deciding what the next step to achieve a safer production environment can be. Together with a sophisticated integration and maintenance plan for your plant, upgrading your dryer system’s safety is one of the easiest safety measures you can take.

Contact us for more information when your dryer has these or any other kind of issues.


Markus Luebbers
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