chlorine leak detection monitoring in an industrial environment

Monitoring potential chlorine leaks in industrial environments is not always an easy application.

In such cases we often offer custom made solutions, as in this application (photo) where ambient air is drawn through a dust filter in the chamber where the sensor is situated. An air flow monitor verifies that there is sufficient air flow otherwise the beacon will be activated. A second filter gives additional protection to the sensor. The sensor is connected to a panel meter/controller which has programmable alarm outputs as well as an analogue output if the unit is to be connected to a PLC.

Exposure limits: (OSHA) PEL\TWA: .5 ppm
(ACGIH) STEL: 1 ppm/ 15 min.
(OSHA) IDLH: 30 ppm / 30 min.

Chlorine is greenish yellow gas with a characteristic pungent odor. Although not classified as an explosive gas, chlorine will react explosively or form an explosive compound when combined with substances like acetylene, ether, turpentine, ammonia, hydrogen, and fuel gas.

Chlorine is highly toxic. The toxins take their route through the lungs irritating the respiratory tract. High doses of chlorine gas can cause death quite rapidly.

Effects of Various Cl2 Levels

Chlorine Levels
in ppm
Resulting Condition/Effects on Humans
0.5 Permissible Exposure Level (OSHA, ACGIH)
3 Irritation of the mucous membranes, eyes, and respiratory tract. 3.5 Produces an easily detectable odor
15 Causes immediate irritation of the throat
30 Maximum exposure for 30 minute period
100-150 Pain, tightness in the chest, and death results from prolonged exposure

Source: Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials (Sixth Edition) by N. Irving Sax