January 2018, Vol. 245, No. 1

Features

ODORIZATION: The Not-So-Sweet Smell Of Safety

Ensuring that natural gas is easily detectable is not just for the sake of customer safety but also concerns economics. For example, the loss of over 607,000 tons of gas by the Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) storage facility near Los Angeles is estimated to have cost the company $665 million in lost gas, according to the San Diego Tribune. In its raw state, natural gas is comprised of a mixture of inflammable gaseous hydrocarbons, chiefly methane as well as propane, butane and other substances. Natural gas is lighter than air, non-toxic and is only explosive when mixed in the air at a concentration of between 5-15%. When a leak occurs, whether in an enclosed space, or from a pipeli

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