Extending refinery gas analysis with temperature programmable Micro GC Fusion

Ching Yue Yeung, INFICON (IS)

Refinery gas analysis refers to an analysis of a gas sample generated from the processing of hydrocarbon based or related materials.  These gases typically contain a wide range of compounds including fixed gases, saturated, and olefinic hydrocarbons.  Gas chromatography (GC) is the preferred technique to analyze refinery gas.  Refinery Gas analyzers are used in petroleum, petrochemical and alternative fuel markets and includes production and R&D, on-line pilot plants and on-line bench scale reactors.  ASTM D1946 and UOP 539 provide comprehensive instrument setup and performance guidelines on traditional GC, which typically analyze fixed gases and C1 – C6+ hydrocarbons in 30 minutes.  Micro GC instrumentation combines Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) technology with a modular GC platform to perform parallel analysis on refinery gas sample, significantly reducing analysis time to 3 minutes.  Micro GC Fusion is the next generation micro gas chromatograph that provides rapid temperature ramping through resistive column heating technology.  Each GC module’s temperature profile is independently programmed; extending the application range on each column when compared to isothermal operation.  Traditional Micro GC uses an Alumina column to elute C3-C5 olefins, and a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) column to elute n-hexane.  Using a temperature profile on Micro GC Fusion, optimal separation occurs eluting C2’s through n-heptane on an Alumina column. Through similar optimization of the PDMS column, heavier hydrocarbons such as BTEX and C7-C10 will elute, extending the traditional analysis of refinery gas.” Today’s production processes are increasingly under pressure to be competitive in terms of cost and efficiency. The goal of a “lean” production chain is to be robust and efficient, while consistently delivering high product quality at the lowest possible cost. Process analysis is one of the key enablers to achieve this goal.


Pen Profile

Chingyue Yeung is the product marketing manager at INFICON responsible for the Energy market segment.  Micro GC Fusion is our key offering to the Energy market. It is a fast and simple to use gas chromatograph addressing the petrochemical market with applications covering natural gas, refinery gas, syngas, biogas and catalyst research. Micro GC Fusion is the next generation Micro GC that incorporates temperature programming using resistive column heating technology, which expands analytical capability and speeds up heavier hydrocarbon analysis.  Ease of use is highlighted on the Micro GC Fusion with front panel display/control, web-based user interface, Wi-Fi and integrated sample conditioning.

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