The environmental and economic factors that make IR indispensable to the gas detection market

The environmental and economic factors that make IR indispensable to the gas detection market

May 09, 2023 . 2min read

The detection of gases that are dangerous for both people and the environment has become a global issue and a priority for governments, businesses, and the whole of society. Effective solutions are needed to monitor, identify, measure, and eliminate harmful emissions as much as possible.

OGI (Optical Gas Imaging) has shown what it can do and is continuing to prove that it is a highly effective method in this domain. That is why it is being used increasingly in the industrial sector to ensure it complies with both environmental rules and economic considerations.

Here’s why:


  • Why OGI is a real environmental asset

Since the COP 21 in 2015 and the adoption of the Paris Agreement, commitments to limit GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions for developed or developing countries have been made, making gas detection an environmental priority.

Atmospheric emissions are regulated in France in accordance with ICPE (installation classified for the protection of the environment) classifications or local regulations specific to certain areas or activities (the petrochemical industry, the chemical industry, the pharmaceutical industry, etc.). Detecting and measuring emissions regularly is therefore mandatory and industrial concerns have to implement the necessary measures. OGI offers a solution.

OGI is particularly good at detecting dangerous gases such as methane (CH4), which is the human-influenced greenhouse gas with the biggest effect on climate change after carbon dioxide (CO2). It is 84 times more potent at warming than CO2, meaning that reducing CH4 emissions could have a fast and effective impact on global warming. That is why limiting CH4 emissions was identified in the August 2021 IPCC report as a key objective for reducing global warming.

Similarly, sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) is also a greenhouse gas that remains in the atmosphere for an estimated 3,200 years (compared to 100 years for CO2). Its global warming potential (GWP) is 22,800 times greater than that of CO2. It is part of the halogen gas family, which are fourth in the list of global warming causes.

Governments participating in climate conferences since the COP 21 continue to put pressure on industries, particularly the oil and gas sectors, to accelerate their efforts to reduce dangerous gas emissions by using effective and innovative technologies like OGI.


  • The economic arguments for turning to OGI for gas detection

Dangerous gas emissions also have a harmful influence on production and therefore the global economy.

In the case of large-scale industrial installations, thermal imaging can be used to inspect entire platforms. Remote viewing deals with inspecting equipment that is inaccessible (particularly at a height) or live, so the equipment being inspected does not need to be immobilized, making it a not inconsiderable economic factor. Thermal imaging also localizes leaks faster and more efficiently, helping to prioritize actions to implement to stop dangerous, high-impact emissions.

Finally, concerning natural gas emissions, a global estimation published in April 2015 by the Rhodium Group states that around 3% of natural gas produced escapes as methane emissions, on top of gas that is routinely flared or released. Reducing these leaks to 1% for just half the world’s gas production would save 2.4 billion cubic meters of emissions. Preventing gas leaks therefore has significant economic importance across the whole production chain.

More recently, according to a study by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), methane leaks in the US natural gas industry have been estimated at around 2.3% of the total output in 2018. Leak levels can vary considerably depending on the region, extraction methods, and the technology used in the production and distribution process.

A 2021 study conducted by the Global Methane Initiative estimated methane leaks in the natural gas industry on a global level represented up to 3.2% of total output. This study also underlined that effective measures for reducing methane emissions can be implemented at a low cost, providing significant long-term savings.

Investors and insurance policies for major oil companies now require more and more drastic measures against accidents that could be devastating economically and in terms of image (deaths, pollution, etc.). Periodic inspections using OGI are part of these measures and form a vital tool for industrial sites that have to comply with these requirements to protect their financing.


OGI market analysis shows that protecting the environment and economic concerns represent key development factors for the market. When we add the social aspect of prevention and consideration for human life, we obtain undeniable market opportunities to which OGI can respond very positively.

If you would like to find out more about the advantages of thermal vision for gas detection, we can offer a 15-minute call with our expert, who can provide guidance and answer all your questions.

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