Equipment Applications for Agriculture

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Biofuel Production

Produced from plants or agricultural wastes, biofuel is a promising alternative energy source. The two most common biofuels are bioethanol and biodiesel fuel.  

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Generated through the process of fermentation, bioethanol is typically produced from biomass such as corn or sugarcane. During this process, glucose levels will decrease while ethanol concentration increases steadily. With the tec5USA Compact Near Infrared Spectrometer (CNIRS), the changing glucose/ethanol concentration is monitored in the 1550 – 1950 nm range. Low detection limits for ethanol allow for increased product recovery.

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Biodiesel fuel production involves oil-based plant feedstock containing triglycerides, such as soybean and seed oil. The process involves the transesterification of triglycerides with methanol or ethanol to produce long chain fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). Traditional methods for analyzing the quality of the biodiesel production process utilize offline testing methods, which lead to higher production costs due to the process requiring time consuming analytical tests and potential reprocessing if the product is out of specification. With in-line NIR spectroscopy, methyl ester, monoglycerides, diglycerides, and triglycerides concentration levels can be measured in real-time. Understanding the levels of glyceride present during the reaction process allows for more accurate control of the transesterification process. Ultimately, this will reduce the time and cost to produce biodiesel fuel.

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    Frequently Asked Questions at tec5USA

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    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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