Process Analysis

Online analysis of the physical properties or chemical composition in dynamic processes allows for realtime control. Thus, a company can detect potentially harmful by-products in process streams immediately, especially in a continuous stream, to prevent the production of large quantities of off-spec products. In addition, online analyzers cut down product variation and raw material waste and help plants minimize energy use.

Onsite data gathering is becoming increasingly important as waste streams become more complex. A waste treatment facility benefits from the ability to identify a change in the waste profile. Multiple sensor and instrumentation systems serve this need in generating realtime data. On-demand interrogation coupled with limit alarms announce changing conditions and facilitate a response action (Breen and Dellarco 1992).

Several analytical methods, including gas chromatog-raphy, liquid chromatography, infrared and near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, and wet chemistry analyzer, have successfully transferred from the laboratory to the process line. Each method has its own price, accuracy, complexity, and maintenance requirements. A thorough knowledge of this information is required to install an economic and effective system.

The major parts of an online process analyzer are the sampling apparatus; the analyzer; and the methods used for data correlation, reporting, and communication.

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