Technology Comparison and Economic Insight

Applied Analytics Technology vs. Gas Chromatography

The solid state absorbance spectrometers deployed by Applied Analytics have concrete benefits over the GC systems used historically in these measurement applications:

  • Capital cost. GC systems have notoriously expensive price tags. Applied Analytics analyzers have a comparatively attractive price point, with value maximized when multiple detectors are integrated into a single interface.
  • Response time. While a GC system provides discrete measurements at a slow 3-10 minute cycle, the OMA and MicroSpec devices provide real-time readings within seconds — variation depending on sampling system design. In the VCM balanced process, there are several points of feedback control (e.g. ethylene feedstock flow rate) which require fast response in order to maximize savings.
  • Maintenance costs. We manufacture solid state instruments that use no consumables other than zero fluid. This distinction translates to a much lower cost of ownership than GC instruments with moving parts and consumables.

Economic Insight

The sensitivity of the VCM balanced process is easily expressed in economic terms. Without effective process analytics, a plant that produces 300,000 tons/yr of VCM at a conservative price of $900/ton will lose about $225,000 of VCM product per month to the quality control problems described above.

By implementing trusted Applied Analytics solutions into the process, the majority of that loss can be recouped through reducing waste of ethylene feedstock, maximizing conversion rates, protecting catalysts and piping from damage, reducing maintenance downtime, and reducing VCM waste disposal costs.

As always, safety of personnel comes before economics. Corrosion prevention and real-time analytics protect workers from the dangers of VCM leaks and other industrial hazards.