Best Bromine Gas Detector

Br2 Gas Meter, Bromine Gas Detector -

Best Bromine Gas Detector

Bromine gas is frequently used in water treatment, pharmaceutical, oil and gas and industrial applications. It is a toxic gas to humans, hence exposure via inhalation can be very dangerous, and when used, needs to be tracked to ensure safe exposure levels. About 30% of the bromine in the atmosphere comes from human activities, the rest is natural. Uses of bromine in the oil and gas industry is increasing and so too is exposure to humans, hence the importance of bromine gas detectors. 

Pros

Cons

  • Bromine is a highly reactive and toxic gas
  • Bromine gas detectors are used to detect the amount of bromine gas present in air
  • Bromine gas detectors may be useful in wastewater treatment, oil and gas, fire retardant manufacture, and water purification industries.
  • Bromine gas detectors are not expensive
  • Some people may not be able to smell bromine
  • Bromine is tricky to calibrate and a proxy gas needs to be used

Best Bromine Gas Detector?

Bromine gas detectors are not as readily available as other toxic gases. Some excellent options include:

How do you Test for Bromine Gas?

Bromine gas can be detected using a bromine gas detector. Bromine can exist in both liquid and gas phases. At room temperature bromine is a liquid but can off-gas to gas phase. It dissolves in water and has a brownish-red color and smell similar to bleach.

Testing of Bromine is done in water (liquid phase) and in air (gas phase). In this article we focus only on the gas phase, detecting bromine (Br2) in air.

Bromine in air can be detected using a bromine gas detector operating in ppm concentration range.

What is in a Bromine Gas Detector?

A Bromine gas detector is able to detect bromine gas molecules. The sensors are made up of an electrochemical cell.  The Br2 gas causes a chemical reaction in the electrochemical sensor cell, resulting in a current that is directly proportional to the bromine gas present. The sensors consume extremely little power and respond well to a variety of gas concentrations across a wide range of environmental conditions.

bromine gas

What is Bromine Gas?

Bromine is a chemical that has many uses, but at high enough concentrations is toxic. Bromine is found as a volatile red-brown liquid that evaporates easily to gas phase.

It is an abundant chemical that is the only non-metal element to exist in liquid form at room temperature and 1 atm. 

About 30% of the bromine in the atmosphere comes from human activities, the rest is natural.

Is Bromine Gas Hazardous?

Yes. Bromine is hazardous.

In its liquid form, it corrodes tissue, irritates the eyes and throat, and is poisonous when inhaled as vapor. The liver, kidneys, lungs, stomach, and other important organs are all harmed by bromine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, bromine can be ingested through tainted food and water, inhaled through the air, and absorbed through the skin.

What are the Bromine Sensor Interference Gases?

Unfortunately, electrochemical sensors are not completely selective, and they respond to other gases present in the environment.

The probable interferences that may be experienced when utilizing a Bromine Br2 Gas Detector is listed below. In general, most oxidizing gases will have some interference to a bromine gas sensor.

bromine gas sensor br2

How Can I Calibrate a Bromine Gas Detector?

Bromine gas standards are not available for use as calibration gas, hence, chlorine standards are typically used as a bromine electrochemical gas sensor responds 1:1 to chlorine gas. This ratio may change slightly with different Br2 sensor manufacturers. 

How to Select a Bromine Gas Detector?

You must understand your application and ask:

  • What is my measuring range in ppm?
  • Are there any other gases in the monitoring area that could skew readings?
  • What is the minimum detection limit I need? ... this will be related to the resolution and also expected accuracy of the unit.
  • Does the manufacture have a calibration service?
  • Will the device be localized to one location or will it move around with users?
  • Does diffusion detection suffice, or is a built in pump and probe required to sample the gas stream?

How is a Bromine Gas Detector in Water Treatment?

In place of chlorine, bromine can be used to disinfect water. Although it is frequently used in swimming pools, wastewater treatment, and cooling water applications, it is rarely employed to treat drinking water. Through ionization, bromine chemical bonds are broken that then acts as a disinfectant.

Who Uses a Bromine Gas Detector?

Bromine gas detectors are used in industries and by workers that use bromine in liquid and forms. This ensure if any excess levels of Br2 gas occurs in the air, that they are warned. It is possible that in an industrial situation, a bromine leak, spill or accident may occur that will then require alarming and measurement of the bromine in the air. The heaviest users or bromine include:

  • Water Industry to treat water
  • Oil and Gas, Fracking (brine water treatment)
  • Flame retardants
  • PTA synthesis
  • Mercury emission control
  • Biocides for Water and Air Treatment

How is Bromine Gas Generated?

Bromine is naturally occurring.

Since at room temperature it is a liquid, it is difficult for a gas phase in calibration gas form to be produced.

Natural salt deposits and brines are the main sources of bromine and its compounds. 

bromine gas

Is Bromine a Liquid or a Gas?

It can be both. At room temperature it is a liquid, but off-gases.

What are the Recommended Exposure Levels for Bromine?

    • OSHA:  0.1ppm TWA (8 hour)
    • NOISH:  0.1ppm TWA (10 hour), 0.3ppm (15 minutes)
    • ACGIH: 0.1ppm (8 hour)

Can You Smell Bromine?

Yes.

Bromine is a highly irritating vapor. Bromine is the only non-metallic element that is liquid under ordinary conditions, it evaporates easily at standard temperature and pressures in a red vapor that has a strong disagreeable odor resembling that of Chlorine.

The bromine human odor threshold is about 0.05. Yet, the human nose is not capable of accurately determining the concentration of bromine gas present, so a bromine gas detector is necessary for effective monitoring.

Is Bromine Gas the Same as Chlorine Gas?

No.

There uses are very similar and so are their applications.

Bromine is not as pungent as chlorine and in some cases preferred as it does not irritate human skin as aggressively as chlorine, hence a good option for swimming pools.

Final Words

  • Bromine can pose a threat to the people working with it (even though it is a liquid), so it should be continually monitored
  • Bromine gas detectors have cross interference from other oxidizing gases
  • Bromine gas detectors can accurately detect chlorine dioxide gas and may be fixed or portable
  • Bromine gas detectors are expensive and ensure you are selecting the correct unit for your application

About the Author

Dr. Koz is the President of FORENSICS DETECTORS, where the company operates from the scenic Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles, California. He is a subject matter expert on gas sensor technology, gas detectors, gas meters, and gas analyzers. He has been designing, building, manufacturing, and testing toxic gas detection systems for over 20 years.

gas detector expert

Every day is a blessing for Dr. Koz. He loves to help customers solve their unique problems. Dr. Koz also loves spending time with his wife and his three children going to the beach, grilling burgers, and having a cold beer. 

Read more about Forensics Detectors here.

Email:  drkoz@forensicsdetectors.com
Phone: +1 424-341-3886


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