Hydrogen Sulfide Testing

Why is the colorimetric-ratiometric tape method used for crude oil hydrogen sulfide testing?

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a heavy gas that can easily build up inside of confined spaces. It commonly occurs in places where crude oil is extracted, transported or refined. Unfortunately, in high doses, it can’t be detected by smell, and prolonged exposure to the gas can have deadly consequences. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 46 workers died as a result of hydrogen sulfide exposure between 2011 and 2017.

There are several ways to test for the presence of hydrogen sulfide. Detector tubes, gas monitors and explosion meters are all examples of equipment that can be used to test the atmosphere. One very effective method is the use of colorimetric sensors. These sensors detect the presence of hydrogen sulfide with pieces of special paper tape.

What are the benefits of the colorimetric-radiometric tape method?

The colorimetric-radiometric tape method tests for the presence of hydrogen sulfide by using a special tape that changes from white to brown when exposed to the gas. This method has several benefits, including:

  • No chance of a “zero drift” — Sometimes, test results can become skewed due to atmospheric changes in the area. The colorimetric-radiometric tape method is not affected by changes in the environment, so there’s no chance of the results being compromised as a result.
  • Only measures for hydrogen sulfide — One advantage of this method is that hydrogen sulfide is the only substance that the test reacts to. The presence of other heavy gases in the air won’t trigger the test accidentally.
  • Does not require field calibration — The analyzer for the tape method can be calibrated once in the factory and will remain stable for years. There’s no need to calibrate the analyzer for each use.
  • Long shelf life — The rolls of colorimetric-radiometric tape used in the tests have a shelf life of three to six months. Since daily testing is recommended for many workspaces, there is a smaller chance of expired tape skewing the test results.

Where can I go for reliable hydrogen sulfide testing?

Hydrogen sulfide testing is just one of the many reliable field services offered by Basin Safety. Our highly trained teams will perform initial and scheduled testing to ensure that your workspace is in compliance with all federal and local regulations.

Our scheduled testing data is uploaded to our secure cloud, where it can be analyzed by both our experts and your team. This helps you to be proactive about mitigating risks and protecting your workers from the dangers of hydrogen sulfide exposure.

Contact Basin Safety today to schedule your initial hydrogen sulfide testing and to learn about all the consultation, equipment and field services that Basin Safety can offer.

2 thoughts on “Why is the colorimetric-ratiometric tape method used for crude oil hydrogen sulfide testing?”

    1. Thank you for your comment! We’re glad we can help share information and knowledge across the world!

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