Infrared (IR) cameras have been used extensively to detect hydrocarbon leaks from process equipment for both process safety and environmental applications. Recent advancements in the field have allowed for continuous and autonomous detection as well as quantification of hydrocarbon emissions. While these advances have led to new applications for hydrocarbon leak detection, optical gas imaging to date has not be utilized for detection of H2S leaks. H2S is a very toxic chemical commonly found in oil and gas streams and some process streams. Due to the toxic nature of the gas, it is highly desirable to remotely image and detect the presence of H2S. Unfortunately, due to its IR spectral characteristics there has been no demonstrated method to achieve IR imaging of H2S plumes.
A series of tests were conducted to evaluate the feasibility of imaging H2S and to determine the sensitivity of an infrared imager in terms of ppm-m. Various spectral regions were examined for suitability of H2S imaging. The results of the test show that it is feasible to image H2S in the SWIR region. The results of these tests and the corresponding sensitivity of an H2S imager are presented, along with potential applications for this technology.