According to the February 20, 2019 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, “The Future of oil is in Chemicals, Not Fuels”, Saudi Aramco, BP, and other major oil producers and refineries are forecasting a decrease in the demand for fuel. Their rationale for the decline is the adopt electric cars and improved fuel economy cars, will decrease demand for barrels of oil dedicated to transportation fuel.
By creating variations in existing locations or processes in the refinery, valuable chemicals can be selectively created, purified, and sold in bulk.
Adapting Existing Analyzer to Support Targeted Petrochemical Production
As refineries move to produce specific chemicals, they require analyzers which can adapt and accurately monitor the process. The NIR-O Full Spectrum NIR Analyzer along with Omniview software can be quickly reprogramed to predict parameters of interest for any number of potential petrochemical compounds.
The 12 channel (sample points) variant of the NIR-O allows for the different sample points to be configured for various applications. In contrast to other analyzer vendors, the expand-ability of sample points and chemometric calibrations makes the NIR-O a smart choice for refineries following the crude-to-chemical trend.
Combining our Experience with Refineries and Petrochemical Analyzers
Guided Wave has over 35 years of experience providing custom solutions for the refining and the petrochemical industry. A shortlist of proven applications can be found on our application overview webpage.
Not finding your application on the list? Chances are high we have done it before and just couldn’t talk about it. Contact one of our Sales Representatives or complete our Interactive Application Questionaire Webform and we would be happy to discuss the potential solutions to your process monitoring challenges.
Safety is an important consideration when installing electrical equipment in hazardous areas. Spectrometers and other Process Analyzers can be certified as safe for Class 1 Div 1 Zone 1 and Class 1 Div 2 Zone 2 environments by Certification Bodies.
What is IECEx?
International Electrotechnical Commission System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres (IECEx System)
What are the Benefits of IECEx?
The fact that many countries operate under different standards means that Ex equipment often needs to be re-tested and re-certified to the appropriate standards of that country, adding to the cost of the equipment. The IECEx scheme significantly reduces the need for re-testing and certification by conforming and harmonizing to IEC standards, and therefore makes international trade easier, quicker and more cost-effective. IEC standards are used in many national approval schemes and as such, IECEx certification can be used to support national compliance, negating the need in most cases for additional testing.
What is ATEX certification?
Similar to the IECEx standard, ATEX is the European Union specific directive for protection against explosive atmospheres.
What are the Benefits to ATEX Certification?
By becoming ATEX certified Guided Wave can manufacture and sell spectroscopy based inline analyzers for environments known or expected to be filled with explosive and combustible gasses in the EU.
What Guided Wave Analyzers are dual certified for IECEx and ATEX accepting countries?
Guided Wave sells and manufactures several dual certified analyzers; The NIR-O Full Spectrum Analyzer, The Clearview db Photometer, and The Hydrogen Peroxide Analyzer.
NIR-O Dual Certification
Guided Wave’s is proud to announce the completion of dual certification for IECEx and ATEX electrical safety for the NIR-O Full Spectrum Analyzer. By completing the certification process, customers can rest easy knowing that Guided Wave’s products can be safely installed in Class 1 Div 1 Zone 1 and Class 1 Div 2 Zone 2 environments.
NIR-O provides excellent signal-to-noise ratio, wavelength stability, NIST traceable wavelength calibration, dual beam optics and built-in diagnostics. Process engineers, operators, and researchers will appreciate NIR-O’s ability to monitor up to 12 process streams or points within a stream with accuracy, repeatability, and reliability. Additionally, the optional Stability Monitor System can provide confidence in hardware performance in the field.
Complete NIR Analyzer System
NIR-O is the core of a comprehensive process analyzer system that includes the spectrometer, one or more NIR probes, fiber optic cables, and OmniView™ scanning and analysis software. Like our previous Guided Wave spectrometers, NIR-O uses infrared radiation to collect spectral data from liquids, gases, glass, and polymer-based films. The spectral data are interpreted by the OmniView software to determine the composition or physical characteristics of the material.
NIR-O Certification Options Include:
Z-Purge package: Class 1 Zone 2 Groups IIC (ATEX certification approved, IECEx certification approved)
X-Purge package: Class 1 Zone 1 Groups IIC (ATEX certification approved, IECEx certification approved)
The guidelines provided in the ASTM validation practices (D6122) can be part of a complete process analysis implementation strategy. Near infrared spectroscopy is a routine measurement and analysis tool for both liquid and solid samples in a wide variety of industries and locations, both process and laboratory. For process measurement analyzers, validation is a key component of a complete measurement system.
For NIR process analyzers, continual validation is addressed in ASTM D6122 Recommendations of this method include: verification of adequate instrument performance, verification of the applicability of the calibration model to the spectrum of the sample under test, and verification of equivalence between the result calculated from the infrared measurements and the result produced by the primary test method used for the development of the calibration model. The performance tests defined in ASTM D6122 can be incorporated into an automatic validation protocol. This validation provides assurance that the measurement produced by the analyzer is a result of equipment that is operating properly. Guided Wave Product Manager, Dr. Ryan Lerud and President Susan Foulk have published an article in NIR News titled “Automated NIR analyzer validation (ASTM D-6122) for the Oil and Gas Industry”. Their article describes an automated validation system suitable for near infrared process analyzers. Would you like to talk to our experts about this topic?
Guided Wave pioneered in-line fiber optic sample interfaces more than twenty-five years ago, with the introduction of the SST (Single Sided Transmission) Probe. This probe permits precise spectroscopic analysis of products directly in the process line without the need for sample systems and their associated investment and installation costs, lag times, failures, and constant maintenance requirements. In refineries, there are various operations that make the use of the SST probe ideal. For example, in para-xylene and petrol/gasoline plants where the sample is very clean (free from particulates and moisture), a direct in-situ SST probe is the best choice. It allows direct process measurement with simple installation in a pressurized line.
However, for diesel/gas oil applications it is highly recommended to use a heated MultiPurpose Flow cell (MPFC) with a heated incoming line to dissolve the trace levels of water in the sample. While direct insertion probes eliminate sample loops and sample systems and their associated problems, sometimes it is necessary to install sample loops for safety, service, and/or sample conditioning reasons. The MPFC is a convenient, compact, rugged sample interface that is easy to install and even easier to service. The cell’s sapphire windows can be cleaned by simply removing a clean-out plug (a Guided Wave innovation) for direct access to the windows without disconnecting process lines or fiber optic cables.
How to Choose the Right Probe or Flow Cell for Refinery Measurements
Guided Wave probes and flow cells offer high throughput, collimated optical beams through the sample, yielding lower noise and more accurate transmission values free of sample index of refraction effects. For faster maintenance and cleaning of insertion probes, Guided Wave’s Extractor Mechanism can be used. The controlled extraction of an in-line probe from pressurized process streams or reactors can be accomplished without shutting down the process, allowing continued use of the analyzer to verify process quality. Coupled with a gate or ball valve, these extractors have proven safe and effective in a variety of refinery installations such as Reformer, Gasoline Blending, Blender and Feed Streams saving downtime. James Low, Guided Wave’s Director of Sales and Support states, “The SST insertion probe extractor assembly is worth every penny when you consider the time saved on insertion probe maintenance.” He continue “I’ve been with Guided Wave almost since its beginning and the SST probe and the multipurpose flow cell are extremely durable and reliable. Our probes and flow cells are compatible with nearly every brand of analyzer and in normal refinery use they function virtually forever”.
The Advanced Process Analysis Refinery Measurement Map
The Process Analysis Refinery Measurement Map shows which analyzer to use at each process along the way. For example, for total sulfur-nitrogen applications in liquids, solids and gases, use ATOM Instruments laboratory and online elemental analyzers. Or measuring viscosity? Look to SoFraser’s MIVI process viscometers as an alternative analyzer that measures the viscosity at the line temperature and can be combined with Temperature Compensated Viscosity calculations. When the fuel blender is producing petroleum products that are intended to be used as lubricants, then the analyzers can be used to monitor the Viscosity Index according to ASTMD 2270. Additionally, NIR measurements can be made to monitor the alkylation process. Specially, DG-NIR technology can be used to investigate the number of alkyl groups attached to the naphthalene (degree of alkylation) and ratios of monoalkylnaphthalene (MAN), dialkylnaphthalene (DAN), and polyalkylnaphthalene (PAN), used in High – performance synthetic lubricants.
Fuel Blending and Pipeline Management
After the different grades of fuel have been appropriately blended, they can be sent by a pipeline to the terminal for shipment all around the world. At the downstream terminal, fuel identification by NIR spectroscopy ensures that the correct and in-specification petroleum products are loaded onto the ships and sent to the customer. NIR spectroscopy (either full spectrum or discrete wavelength photometers)can provide significant information about the product itself and classify it according to the grade of gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, etc. Pipeline product interface detection methods are both fast and reliable utilizing the full range NIR-O spectrometer which can be used to provide nearly complete chemical information on the sample. Alternatively, the ClearView db multi-wavelength photometer yields more limited information, but would still provide rapid interface detection plus some chemical information.
Sample Interfaces for Refinery Processes
These instruments use fiber optic cables and direct insertion probes into the pipe to measure the product as it flows by. Guided Wave pioneered in-line fiber optic sample interfaces more than twenty-five years ago, with the introduction of the SST (Single Sided Transmission) Probe. This probe permits precise spectroscopic analysis of products directly in the process line without the need for sample systems and their associated investment and installation costs, lag times, failures, and constant maintenance requirements.
In refineries, there are various operations that make the use of the SST probe ideal. For example, in para-xylene and petrol/gasoline plants where the sample is very clean (free from particulates and moisture), a direct in-situ SST probe is the best choice. It allows direct process measurement with simple installation in a pressurized line. However, for diesel/gas oil applications it is highly recommended to use a heated Multi-Purpose Flow cell (MPFC) with a heated incoming line to dissolve the trace levels of water in the sample.
As the field of process spectroscopy grows, so does the number of acronyms associated with the measurement methods. In the last blog we discussed the acronyms related to calibration that users may encounter. (LINK) This blog will give a brief overview of some acronyms that are in frequent use related to GuidedWave analyzers and products. Some of these are specific to Guided Wave, while others are related tothe methodology as a whole. The list below is in alphabetical order.
ANSI – American National Standards Institute The ANSI is a private nonprofit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. The organization also coordinates U.S. standards with international standards so that American products can be used worldwide. These standards ensure that the characteristics and performance of products are consistent, that people use the same definitions and terms, and that products are tested the same way.
ASTM – American Society for Testing and Materials ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world. They are a source for technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services. ASTM International standards have an important role in the information infrastructure that guides design, manufacturing and trade in the global economy.
ATEX The European directive 94/9/EC requires that employers must protect employees from explosion risk in areas with explosive atmospheres. Manufacturers and importers must ensure that their products meet specific safety requirements. The goal of ATEX, which gets its name from the directive’s French title Appareils destinés á être utilisés en ATmosphèresExplosibles, is to allow free trade of “ATEX” approved equipment within the EU by removing the need for separate testing and documentation for each member state.
CENELEC CENELEC is the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization. This is a non-profit technical organization set up under Belgian law and composed of the National Electrotechnical Committees of 30 European countries. CENELEC’s mission is to prepare voluntary electrotechnical standards that help develop the Single European Market/European Economic Area for electrical and electronic goods and services removing barriers to trade, creating new markets and cutting compliance costs.
FT-NIR Fourier transform spectroscopy is a measurement technique whereby spectra are collected based on time-domain measurements of the electromagnetic radiation. It can be applied to a variety of types of spectroscopy, including Near-Infrared spectroscopy (see NIR below).
ISO ISO is an international-standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. The organization promulgates world-wide proprietary industrial and commercial standards. ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 157 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.
NIR Near-Infrared or NIR is a region of the electromagnetic spectrum from about 750nm to 2600nm. Near Infrared Spectroscopy is the technique of using a sample’s NIR absorbance characteristics to predict parameters of interest. Molecules containing C-H, O-H, and N-H bonds absorb NIR radiation in specific regions or at specific wavelengths. These absorbance’s can then be used in a qualitative or quantitative measurement. NIR spectroscopy is widely used in both process and laboratory measurements across many industries (chemical, refining, pharmaceutical, polymer, semi- conductor, agricultural).
NIST The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), previously known as the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce. The institute’s mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve quality of life.
PAT Process Analytical Technology (PAT) has been defined by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a mechanism to design, analyze, and control pharmaceutical manufacturing processes through the measurement of critical process parameters and quality attributes. While this term was initially defined in relation to the pharmaceutical industry, the concepts and methods can be extended to other industries.
SST The Single-Sided Transmission (SST) Probe is a rugged and reliable sample probe that is ideal for continuous process monitoring applications. SST means that light passes through the sample region only once. In contrast, transflectance probes pass twice, being reflected from the far end. The SST probe can be easily installed in a pipe or reactor through a single access port and works with any Guided Wave single-fiber spectrometer or photometer. Optional accessories make it easy to adapt the SST Probe to different kinds of process installations.
UV/VIS UV/VIS spectroscopy is the measurement of the wavelength and intensity of absorption of ultraviolet and visible light by a sample. Ultraviolet and visible light are energetic enough to promote outer electrons to higher energy levels. UV/VIS spectroscopy is usually applied to molecules and inorganic ions or complexes in solution. The spectra have broad features that are of limited use for sample identification but are very useful for quantitative measurements. The concentration of an analyte in solution can be determined by measuring the absorbance at some wavelength and applying the Beer-Lambert Law.
Guided Wave’s summer issue of its customer newsletter, “The Guide Post” was recently released. This issue focuses on current trends in the oil and gas marketplace. The refinery industry is undergoing a huge transformation that will shape society’s energy solutions for future generations. With the newly abundant supply of shale gas, and the need for safety and sustainability within the refining and chemical plants, the industry is on the cutting edge of creating a demand for unique and sustainable feed stocks that will be more competitive and safer to process and use.
• Market Trends – Oil and Gas Outlook • Application Focus: o Solving Real Life Problems in Petroleum Refinery o Alkylation to Visbreaking – Refinery Analyzer Map • Feasibility Study: Octane Number using DG-NIR • Sample Interface: Rugged Probes and Flow Cells Meet Refinery Requirements • People: Is There a Dr. in the House? • Talk to the Experts: ASTM Validation (D6122) and Process Analysis Implementation Strategies • Education: Free on-demand training for OmniView NIR-O Process Analysis Software 1-7 Video Series
Following the Process from Alkylation to Visbreaking – Refinery Analyzers for Every Measurement
Here are some trends to watch for in the near term1.
1. Natural gas—here and not forgotten
The abundance of moderately priced natural gas in North America, like that from the Marcellus and Permian Basins, does not get as much attention as the oil sector. Yet it is enabling significant long-term change in worldwide energy markets. Natural gas continues to grow as a source of lower-carbon power generation in the USA and abroad. The wave of new investment in petrochemical facilities would not be possible without the growing US natural gas and NGL supply.
Moreover, the United States is now a major player in global LNG markets, with two facilities in operation, at Sabine Pass and Cove Point, and four more due to start up in 2019. This is expected to shape global prices, trade flows, and business models. Although uncertainty exists, the recent decision to take final investment decision (FID) on another major North American LNG project (LNG Canada in Western Canada) is a strong vote of confidence in the viability of North American gas supply.
These new natural gas supply sources have a much broader range of
hydrocarbon make-up than the existing sources. Online measurement will
therefore be needed to ensure the proper consistency of the sample for quality
2. Focus on the infrastructure
Building and expanding pipelines, processing facilities, import and export terminals, storage facilities, and LNG plants must be recognized as a vital part in the process. The infrastructure phase is longer and more complex, which could lead to added costs and delays. More focus on proper planning, measurement and implementation of the most efficient way(s) to move the products through the pipe must be considered in order to align with the physical capacity of pent up supply to meet market demand. Designing the proper analytical measurements during this phase will help from the onset of these project to properly identify products coming down the pipe to ensure that up-time and product demand will be met.
3. The sustainability imperative
Energy and chemical companies are not newcomers to the sustainability agenda. They have been reporting and communicating on environmental footprints, impact mitigation, and sustainability for some years now. However, increasing consumer awareness of environmental and climate impacts and societal expectations are driving more and more companies to embrace sustainability as a core part of their business strategy, rather than a niche add-on activity. Major oil, gas, and chemicals companies are making increasingly sizable investments in companies and technologies that bring renewable, low-carbon energy to consumers and to reduce their own environmental and carbon footprints. By doing this, it is important to properly measure these new products that are being used, as their chemical compositions differ from what is widely available today.
4. Safety – becoming more than lip service
From 2013 to 2017, there have been 489 oil and gas worker on-the-job fatalities2 in the USA alone. Safety is becoming more of a priority that must be seriously considered when work is performed on site at plant level. Ballooning costs from an accident not only involve the workers compensation, but also State/Federal Disaster recovery agencies, insurance related costs as well as business interruption from neighboring companies. Risk management is at the top of the list to ensuring safety program compliance, this includes 3rd party approvals, insurance, proper process controls, etc. In order to manage these risks correctly, processes need to be measured. Analytical technologies play their role by providing the much-needed data and process controls to keep the plant safe.
5. IoT – Digital technologies are increasingly intertwined with the entire
oil, gas, and chemicals value chain
As alluded to in the 2018 Outlook,1 opportunity from digital technologies are becoming increasingly apparent and have the potential to unlock new value. More and more companies are looking hard at deployment of artificial intelligence, analytics, robotics, and block-chain to increase efficiency, productivity, reliability, and predictability of operations. Refining and petrochemicals have been the leaders of process automation for many years, but we are now seeing signs that the other sectors are turning their attention to digital opportunities. Those that succeed could be well-equipped to thrive through business cycles and be responsive to customer and societal expectations.
Therefore, the need to properly measure and control the refinery process is more important than ever in meeting the up and coming trends in the oil and gas industry. Guided Wave’s process analyzers can assist the marketplace in many ways to make proper measurements.
Read our latest Guided Wave newsletter to find out how.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Ryan Lerud who just
completed his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Portland State University, Portland
Oregon. Dr. Lerud’s thesis titled “Sensors and Portable Instruments
for Postharvest Agriculture” focused on advancing the state of the art for
electrochemical and spectroscopic analyzers and the accompanying data
collection and processing protocols for the tree crop industry. The findings of
his manuscript can be extended to enhance the product offerings from Guided Wave.
Dr. Lerud is a recognized expert in spectroscopic analysis
of fresh produce and has several publications dealing with the multi-variate
analysis of spectral data and analyzer hardware design. He is an elected
delegate-at-large for the Council for Near Infrared Spectroscopy, serving in
that capacity until 2020.
Meet Guided Wave’s Product Manager and Application
Ryan Lerud, joined Guided
Wave last year and filled the position of Product Manager and Application Specialist. His primary
focus is application development, providing pre and post-sales support,
including technical presentations, equipment demonstrations, system
troubleshooting and customer training. Dr.
Lerud brought with him over six years of industry experience in
hardware/software development, field service and installation, instrument
repair and maintenance as well as new product development.
Dr. Lerud earned a
Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Physics from Portland State University as well,
and an Associate’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Mt. Hood
Community College, Oregon. Prior to
coming to Guided Wave, Dr. Lerud worked as an Application Scientist for an
Oregon based manufacturer of BioScience equipment. While employed there
his work primarily focused on spectroscopic and gas sensing technologies for
various instruments. His
responsibilities included customer support, field service engineer, R&D
testing of next-generation instruments, QA product validation, as well as
developing application-specific product documentation and instrument manuals.
Expert in Spectroscopic Analysis
Dr. Lerud is a recognized expert in spectroscopic analysis
of fresh produce and has several publications dealing with the multivariate
analysis of spectral data and analyzer hardware design. He is an elected delegate-at-large for the
Council for Near Infrared Spectroscopy, serving in that capacity until
2020. “Dr. Lerud came to us with extensive engineering and application skills,
which was and is an instant asset to Guided Wave”, states Susan Foulk, Guided Wave
President. “He is a tremendous addition to our sales and marketing team and
will interact with all departments throughout the company “added Ms. Foulk.
Have you ever sipped into your Romex Coveralls and walked the plant floor to locate an analyzer that needs servicing, only to open the access panel on the analyzer, and find a mess of wires and fiber optic cables?
Fiber Optic Cables Part of Total NIR or UV-VIS Analytical System
A complete Guided Wave system has three main components: 1) the analyzer, 2) the fiber optic cables, and 3) the sample interface. Optical grade fiber cables are used to carry the light from the analyzer to the sample and back. Using high performance fiber cables permits the sample interface to be located 100 meters, or more in some cases, from the analyzer for safety or convenience.
Additional Meter of Fiber Cable Allows for Easier Service and Repair
Guided Wave recommends an additional meter of fiber cable to allow for service and repair. Repairing a broken fiber termination is much preferred to replacing the entire cable.The Fiber Junction Box provides safe storage for this fiber cable. Consider installing a fiber junction box next to your NIRO analyzer.
Three Primary Benefits of a NIR-O Fiber Junction Box
Provides a safe and clean storage solution for fiber service loops
Improved Cable Management – Reduces cable clutter inside of the analyzer box