The energy market is facing a major transition, in which natural gas and renewable gasses will play an important role. However, changing gas sources and compositions will force the gas transporters, gas engine manufacturers, and gas grid operators to monitor the gas quality in a more intensive way. This leads to the need for lower cost, smaller, and easy to install gas quality sensors. A new approach is proposed in this study that is based on the chemical interactions of the various gas components and responsive layers applied to an array of capacitive interdigitated electrodes. For Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), containing a relative high concentration of higher hydrocarbons, an array of ten capacitive chips is proposed, that is sufficient to calculate the full composition, and can be used to calculate energy parameters, such as Wobbe Index, Calorific Value, and Methane Number. A first prototype was realized that was small enough to be inserted in low and medium pressure gas pipes and LNG engine fuel lines. Adding the pressure and temperature data to the chip readings enables the determination of the concentrations of the various alkanes, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, including small fluctuations in water vapor pressure. The sensitivity and selectivity of the new sensor is compared to a compact analyzer employing tunable filter infrared spectrometry.
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