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Tracy HyNi - Sensitive trace gas detection for hydrogen and nitrogen


Rugged low-cost gas detector


Scientists of the Heinrich-Heine-University developed a rugged low-cost gas detector. The concept of detection based on the specific light emission of compounds excited electronically by an electric arc. The detection enables a wide range of measurments starting from pure gases down to gas traces (<1 ppm). Signals are achieved in tenths of seconds. The detector is always avaible for recording signals since a recreation time for the measuring system is not required. The setup can operate in harsh environments and is for instance insensitive against chosen temperatures, temperature changes or the degree of humidity. 

At present, the invention is primarily concerned with monitoring operational states of fuel cells and appearing degradation processes in MEAs by detecting either nitrogen in the hydrogen flow or hydrogen within the cathode flow field. Spectral separation of the hydrogen signal and the nitrogen signals from accompanying signals is simply carried out by optical filters.


  • Detection of N2 or H2 in trace concentrations
  • Simultaneous detection of compounds in mixed gases
  • Rugged System
  • Unaffected by  climatic conditions, temperatures and humidity
  • Control of fuel cells and biogas plants
  • Controlling the purity level of hydrogen


The method provides the opportunity to measure a variety of different gases and can therefore be considered as a tool to inspect and pursue technical processes in which gases are involved. This is easily realized by inserting properly selected optical filters or substituting optical filters by a mini-spectrograph. 


On behalf of the Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf, PROvendis offers interested companies the opportunity to obtain a licence for using the presented technology or for continuing the development of the method.

PROvendis GmbH

Dr. Thorsten Schaefer
+49.208 94105-27
Schloßstr. 11-15
45468 Mülheim an der Ruhr




  • US erteilt
  • DE anhängig
  • EP erteilt


Detector, Trace Gas, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, fuel cell, Arc, gas detector, optical filter, measure, gas, spectrograph

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c/o PROvendis GmbH
Schloßstr. 11-15
D-45468 Mülheim an der Ruhr