Featured Application: Photometric Color Analysis

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Pass-fail photometric color analysis

Earlier in 2016, our team collaborated with a Great Lakes-region paints and coating manufacturer to produce a highly specialized solution for analyzing paint mixing bases. We calibrated an OMA-300 Color Analyzer to give a pass/fail reading on over 50 different paint mixing bases, allowing the manufacturer to rapidly correct product quality issues.

Running a custom software build set to streamline cuvette measurements, the system logs the quality data for each run. The OMA provided the team at the manufacturer with a fully-automated quantitative color measurement and rich, continuous data about product quality variance.

It also demonstrated the intrinsic flexibility of the OMA Color Analyzer, which can handle custom calibrations as easily as industry standards like APHA and Saybolt.

OMA InGaAs version released! Many new applications including Wobbe Index

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We’re proud to announce the new InGaAs version of the highly successful OMA analyzer platform, adding hundreds of measurement applications to the OMA’s domain. The first product to use this technology is the OMA Wobbe Index Analyzer, the world’s only all-optical solution for measuring interchangeability of natural gas.

InGaAs Technology

The infrared-range sensor inside the InGaAs OMA capitalizes on recent major advancements in InGaAs (indium gallium arsenide) semiconductor technology to provide accuracy equivalent to gas chromatography at far lower manufacturing costs and operational complexity. Joining the UV-Vis and the SW-NIR versions of the OMA, the InGaAs model monitors real-time sample absorbance from 1550 to 1850 nm, targeting alkane hydrocarbons and other molecules that were previously out of reach for the OMA platform.

The New OMA Wobbe Index Analyzer

One of the major verified applications for the new InGaAs-driven system is the online measurement of Wobbe Index in natural gas, which allows operators to quickly determine the interchangeability of gases. This measurement has historically been performed through residual oxygen analysis, a complex method involving burning precise amounts of the sample fluid and measuring the unused oxygen to indirectly derive the Wobbe number.

The OMA Wobbe Index Analyzer shifts the paradigm for this application as the first entirely optical solution: the system measures the concentrations of each Wobbe-contributing component in the natural gas (typically methane and ethane) and directly derive the gas density as well as the real-time Wobbe number.

Since most conventional Wobbe Index monitors on the market are designed and priced very similarly to Applied Analytics’ own legacy CVA-100 model (combustion-based), the OMA Wobbe Index Analyzer’s performance was benchmarked against this system during development. Under eligible stream conditions, the OMA provides superior accuracy and faster response time than the CVA-100, promising a more reliable measurement at a fraction of the end user price.

Announcing Remote Support! Instant Help with Your AAI Analyzers

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Remote Support

Did you know? Our engineers can log in to your Applied Analytics analyzers remotely to perform various tasks.

Do you need your analyzer calibrated for a new measurement range? Need a walkthrough for how to zero your analyzer? If your system is configured with software-operated relays, our engineers can even turn the valves on your sampling system remotely!

Best of all, we can service your analyzer with no travel delay. Continue reading “Announcing Remote Support! Instant Help with Your AAI Analyzers”

pH-Independent Measurement of Hydrogen Sulfide in Liquids

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You’ve been measuring H2S in Water the Wrong Way

Measuring hydrogen sulfide concentration in a pH-volatile liquid (such as water) is much more difficult than in a medium like natural gas. As the pH increases, the H2S dissociates into its ions HS (bisulfide) and S2- (sulfide), which are not measured by a typical H2S sensor. A reading that doesn’t account for the presence of these other ionic forms is meaningless at high pH because it would grossly understate the total H2S loading of the fluid when the pH drops. Continue reading “pH-Independent Measurement of Hydrogen Sulfide in Liquids”

Get an Inside Look at our Patented DEMISTER Probe Technology

TLG-837 DEMISTER Sampling Probe Animation

In a new demo from our design department, we answer some common questions about one of our most innovative products: the sulfur mist-removing DEMISTER Probe.

This device solves a very specific and persistent problem in sulfur recovery optimization: how do you obtain a sample from Claus process tail gas without sulfur mist plugging your instrument? Our demo will show you how our in situ probe uses steam to selectively condense elemental sulfur right at the tapping point, eradicating the problem of sulfur mist.

Continue reading “Get an Inside Look at our Patented DEMISTER Probe Technology”

Why Measure Chromium Concentration in Liquids?

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Hexavalent Chromium Contamination

In 1952, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) started adding hexavalent chromium (Cr6+) to cooling water in order to suppress rust in a Hinkley, California compressor station. The toxic metal was stored in unlined pools, allowed to percolate into the ground and contaminate the water supply. Unexplained illnesses (including respiratory cancer and organ damage) in the town sparked an investigation (as dramatized in the film Erin Brockovich), ultimately resulting in a blockbuster settlement of $333M in 1996.

The Cr6+ levels in Hinkley groundwater were reported at 0.58 ppm in 1993, high above the 0.1 ppm legal limit of the time; due to widespread violations exposed since the Hinkley case, some states are planning to implement Cr6+limits as low as 0.06 ppb. A 2010 study found that 21 US cities suffered from chromium-contaminated groundwater. There is currently no enforced contamination limit for Cr6+ in drinking water, but legislation for this purpose is in progress. Continue reading “Why Measure Chromium Concentration in Liquids?”

Crude Oil Is Getting More Sour. Are Your H2S Analyzers Ready?

Applied Analytics H2S in Crude Oil Analyzer

Crude Oil is Getting More Sour

The ‘sourness’ of crude oil technically refers to its hydrogen sulfide (H2S) content before processing. Crude can naturally contain up to 14% sulfur content by weight, but this percentage is comprised of myriad sulfur compounds; only a small ratio is H2S. Unfortunately, even very low levels of H2S in crude can cause excessive corrosion and degrade catalysts in the refinery. Continue reading “Crude Oil Is Getting More Sour. Are Your H2S Analyzers Ready?”

Why Measure Bisphenol A Continuously in Effluent Water?

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The BPA Controversy, In Brief

The international fight over banning Bisphenol A from use in consumer products has now spanned decades with no sign of either side backing down. BPA is known to mimic estrogen in the human body, but the strength of its effects and the levels of real exposure are heavily disputed. Studies have variably linked BPA to male infertility, breast cancer, and behavioral disorders, fueling concern among the scientific community and wary shoppers alike.

However, BPA is quite entrenched as industry’s chemical of choice for strengthening polycarbonate plastics and producing resins—4.6 million tons of it were manufactured globally in 2012, a figure that will only rise with demand from emerging markets. While some regulatory legislation has been successful, particularly in banning BPA-constructed baby bottles due to infants’ heightened susceptibility to low-dose effects, we still live in a world that will likely continue producing BPA on a massive scale for decades to come. The question, then, is what can we do to effectively mitigate exposure in our communities? Continue reading “Why Measure Bisphenol A Continuously in Effluent Water?”

Will Li-S Batteries Change the Economics of Sulfur Recovery?

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The Advent of Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

With slow progress in electric vehicle driving range and smartphone stamina, the limitations of current lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries have become glaring. First commercialized by Sony in 1991, the now dominant Li-ion technology is struggling to improve the performance of the existing chemistry, its incremental gains outpaced by consumer demand. As the next breakthrough in battery design is hotly anticipated, one technology shines with promise due to superior performance and the practicality of its materials: Li-S. Continue reading “Will Li-S Batteries Change the Economics of Sulfur Recovery?”