OptografTM and “Pipe-centric” Process and Sampling interfaces – the New Paradigm for a Total Process Analytical Solution

Dr. Peter van Vuuren, Spectrasensors Inc. (US)

The presentation will address the technology benefits of the new laser based Optograf analyzer integrated with the OptoDRS/OptoAST “pipe-centric” process and sampling interfaces. It represents a total process analytical system solution for applications in the Chemical and Petrochemical Industries.

The Optograf Analyzer is a laser based gas phase on-line Raman spectrometer which generates spectra (Optograms) that are similar to and can be analyzed like a chromatogram.  No chemometrics based models or model maintenance is required.  Optograms therefore does not require columns, valves, stream switching or even carrier gas which reduces the cost to own and the technical skill to operate and maintain the Optograf.

A unique feature of RAMAN spectroscopy is its ability to measure the diatomic molecules H2 and N2 while moisture in the vapor phase does not cause any Optogram interference. This capability opens up many applications like Syngas analysis from Reformers and Gasifiers in the production of Ammonia, HyCO and SNG as examples.

The Optograf uses a laser as light source which enables the use of an optical fiber for light transmission to an optical sampling probe (AirHeadTM).  The probe can be located up to 150 meters away and is typically integrated with a NeSSI sampling interface located at the sample tap. The OptoDRS and OptoAST sampling interfaces represent two versions of this “pipe-centric” process and sampling interface implementations. A main benefit of a “pipe-centric” sampling configuration is that no sample transport is necessary anymore which eliminate the need for heat tracing, lag time considerations and how to maintain sample integrity during transport.


Pen Profile

Dr. Peter van Vuuren has been involved with process analysis for over 30 years. Originally at Bendix EPID (which eventually became part of ABB)  he was involved with the development and deployment of large scale minicomputer based GC systems. He joined ExxonMobil Chemical in 1980 and was initially responsible for the global support of major analyzer projects.  Subsequently his role changed to  the identification, evaluation  and deployment of new process analysis technologies. It was in this capacity that he was able to identify the benefits of Process Raman Spectroscopy and installed several systems that were available at that time from Kaiser Optical Systems Inc. Since retirement from ExxonMobil Chemical in 2004 he was involved with the development of the first gas phase process Raman spectrometer at Kaiser which became known as the OptografTM .  It is deployed as a Div/Zone 2 analyzer with certification  by ATEX and CSA. Since Kaiser Optical Systems Inc. and SpectraSensors Inc. were bought by Endress+Hauser, he was appointed as Director of Business Development within the SpectraSensors’ Marketing and Sales group responsible for the Optograf product line.


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