Equipment Applications for Petrochemistry

Provide real-time insights into your process


Sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and Hydrofluoric acid (HF) are utilized during the alkylation process to convert isobutate and alkenes into high-octane alkylates. Due to the high cost and corrosion risk of these acids, continual monitoring of acid levels is critical to maintain the correct concentration levels, while limiting cost.  

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Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) Alkylation

At times, HF acid is carried over into the depropanizer feed, which results in the cost-intensive refilling of HF levels. It also increases the amount of HF carry-over, introducing the risk of corrosion and the potential of damage to the alkylation unit. Real-time HF detection with Raman spectroscopy allows for quantitative detection of HF as low as 0.5 wt%. This not only ensures a maintained acid level, but identifies costly and dangerous HF leaks within the alkylation unit.

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Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4) Alkylation

For safety and process efficiency, sulfuric acid must be within a particular concentration range (~80 – 98%). Maintaining high concentration levels of sulfuric acid, contributes to significant annual costs. With Raman spectroscopy, sulfuric acid in the alkylation unit can be measured in real-time to signal when concentration levels drop below the targeted level. Placed directly in the process line, the Raman immersion probe identifies key spectral bands for sulfuric acid at ~969 cm-1, 1044 cm-1 and 1153 cm-1 and prevent costly acid waste by overfilling.

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Raman Spectroscopy Solution

Use of the tec5USA Raman Spectrometer System and Tidus XP Immersion probe to measure refining products allow for a response in seconds. The system allows for the simultaneous measurement of several components without additional probe installations. The maintenance requirement of the sampling system is eliminated, as the probe is directly inserted into the flowing product line. The lockout, tagout (LOTO) system, 35 – 500 mW adjustable laser, robust design and explosion-proof enclosure allows for a safe and seamless integration to the site location and DCS/SCADA system.

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    Frequently Asked Questions at tec5USA

    See all FAQs

    Typical applications include white light interference for thin film analysis, UV absorption of proteins for quantitative analysis, colorimetry, impurity detection in water, cleaning validation for API manufacturing, polymerization inhibitor monitoring, electroplating bath monitoring....

    The spectroscopic methodology is determined by which parameters are important to monitor during a process. For example, if you want to monitor protein concentration in a bioreactor, in which the biosynthesis takes place in an aqueous medium, then you likely would want to use Raman spectroscopy for the application, as water does not contribute to the Raman signal. Alternatively, if moisture content is important, water has very strong absorption in the NIR due to several vibrational and combination modes that can be monitored; water is transparent in the UV and visible spectral region. Understanding which chemical is important as there could be various factors that influence the choice of methodology....

    NIR spectroscopy is utilized across a variety of industries for qualitative and quantitative product analysis. Typical industries include Chemistry, Pharmacology, Food Feed & Beverage, Agriculture, and others. NIR spectroscopy is well suited for species containing C-H, N-H & O-H bonds, making it a wide-range technology for a variety of applications such as moisture, fat, oil, alcohol, APIs, polymers, etc....

    Raman spectroscopy is a technique which is used for several markets. These industries include Oil and Gas, Pharmacology, Biotechnology, Petrochemistry and many others. Due to the high selectivity of Raman spectroscopy, it is a powerful tool for many applications including, hydrocarbon analysis, bioreactor protein monitoring, crystallization monitoring, API concentration, polymer identification, surfactant analysis, natural gas components and several others....


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