A Thermal Conductivity Approach for Measuring Hydrogen in Engine Exhaust
Thermal conductivity detection has long been used in gas chromatography to detect hydrogen and other diatomic gases in a gas sample. Thermal conductivity instruments that are not coupled to gas chromatographs are useful for detecting hydrogen in binary gas mixtures, but suffer from significant cross-interference from other gas species that are separated when the detector is used with a gas chromatograph. This study reports a method for using a commercially-available thermal conductivity instrument to detect and quantify hydrogen in a diesel exhaust stream. The instrument time response of approximately 40 seconds is sufficient for steady-state applications. Cross-interference from relevant gas species are quantified and discussed. Measurement uncertainty associated with the corrections for the various species is estimated and practical implications for use of the instrument and method are discussed.