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The Misleading World of Natural Gas Moisture Dew Point Analyzer Specifications

Updated: Jan 31


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Natural Gas Moisture Analysis: The Reality of Dew Point Measurements

Have you come across claims of dew point analyzers measuring down to a chilly -110°C (-166°F)? Think twice before believing it. In fact, such claims often hide a deceptive truth: the "analyzer" might not be measuring dew point at all, but simply moisture content disguised as a lower dew point value.

Understanding Analyzer Operations:

  • Moisture Content vs. Dew Point: These analyzers typically measure moisture content in units like ppm, lbs/MMSCF, or mg/Nm^3. Then, they calculate what that content translates to in terms of dew point. But there's a catch!

  • Atmospheric Pressure Trickery: They calculate the dew point for the gas at atmospheric pressure, not the actual pipeline pressure (often hundreds of times higher). This manipulation results in a much lower, and seemingly impressive, dew point value.

  • Why the Deception? Lower numbers look better, even if they're completely meaningless for real-world pipeline conditions.

Exposing the specification trickery In Action:

  • Imagine an analyzer claiming to measure down to 0.1 ppmv moisture. They then "calculate" a dew point of -90°C (-130°F) for atmospheric pressure. But:

  • Unrealistic reference point: There are no pipelines in the world that operate at atmospheric pressure.  If your pipeline is at atmospheric pressure, you have bigger problems than dew point!

  • No Cooling Magic: The analyzer doesn't magically cool the gas to -90°C to measure its dew point.   it's just a dishonest and misleading representation..

  • Technically Implausible: Dew points of -110°C (often claimed) correspond to incredibly low moisture levels (ppb), something most natural gas, even after thorough drying, cannot achieve.

Arm Yourself Against Misinformation:

  • Educate Yourself: Read technical resources like blog posts and guides.

  • Ask the Right Questions: When considering an analyzer, ask if it truly measures dew point or just calculates it from moisture content.

  • Challenge Unrealistic Specs: Question dew point specifications like -70°C or -110°C in natural gas (most pipelines have dew points between +10°C and -30°C).

  • Spread Awareness: Inform colleagues about analyzers relying on calculated dew points, not actual measurements.

Remember: In today's world, vigilance is key. Don't fall prey to deceptive marketing in the technical realm. As a customer, educate yourself, ask the right questions, and make informed choices.

CEIRS™ technology is the only spectroscopic chilled-mirror technique in the world.  It measures the actual dew point of moisture and/or hydrocarbon dew point, not a calculation based on misleading parameters.  Combining IR spectroscopy with the fundamental chilled-mirror concept, it achieves unprecedented accuracy and reliability.


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