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Educating on Natural Gas Odorization

Category: Educational (page 2 of 2)

Why can’t I smell natural gas?

Some factors hinder our ability to smell natural gas, aside from scrubbing, which depletes the odorant level injected into the gas stream. Do you know if you are susceptible?

Odorize Natural Gas

As an odorizer manufacturer, we design systems to inject odorant (the scent) into gas. In fact, it’s federally regulated and stipulated that any odorless gas within a distribution or transmission line (exceptions noted in the regulations) must contain odorant at the level of 1/5 the lower explosive limit so that a person with a normal sense of smell can detect it.

Factors Effecting Odorant Perception

Why can’t I smell natural gas?

Some factors hinder our ability to smell natural gas, aside from scrubbing which depletes the odorant level injected into the gas stream. Are you susceptible?

While we all may think we have a “normal” sense of smell, our ability to perceive odors changes from time to time. Here is a list of several factors that impede a person’s ability to smell: Continue reading

What are the Odorants used in Natural Gas to make it Detectable?

Have you ever wondered why natural gas smells differently from one place to another? While the mercaptan family compounds are the most used to odorize natural gas, other chemicals, and blends of compounds are developed to satisfy specific applications.

Odorization Background

In earlier posts, we share that the government requires natural gas be odorized as a safety measure since it is combustible and odorless. We also discuss that odorant is introduced by either chemical vaporization or chemical injection. We further share the advantages and disadvantages of various odorization systems, whether wick-type, bypass, pulse bypass, drip injection or pump injection systems.

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Gas Odorization History | From Water Gas to Natural Gas

From water gas to natural gas, the addition of an odorant to gas, or gas odorization has always been driven by the desire to keep people safe.

Town Gas Naturally Reeks

In Europe, during the early 1800s and the initial stages of the gas industry, town gas was manufactured for lighting and heating. This gas was produced from the carbonization of coal and contained mostly hydrogen and carbon monoxide and was obviously poisonous. The gas also contained sulfur compounds and innately had a gassy odor so that if there ever was a leak it was perceived through the sense of smell. Continue reading

What to do if you smell natural gas?

What do you do if you smell natural gas in your home or a building? Alternatively, what if you smell it outside?

smell natural gas

Smell gas? MercapMan says, “Take action!”

Of course, this is a trick question since natural gas is odorless and technically you are smelling the odorant in the gas stream. In any case, if you are sensing that rotten egg, sulfur-like odor then you know that there is a good chance that natural gas is present, and you need to take action. Continue reading

What is the odorant added to natural gas to make it smell?

As the manufacturer of natural gas odorizers, we are frequently asked, “What is the chemical added to natural gas to make it smell?”

Odorizing Natural Gas

In “What is Natural Gas Odorization?” we mention that natural gas by itself is odorless and because it is combustible an odorant is injected into the gas at a federally regulated level so that it can be perceived through an individual’s normal sense of smell.

That odorant is mercaptan.

Continue reading

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