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Frank Zorn

International Sales Manager, Lar Process Analyzers AG

Fast and reliable on-line analysis of oils in water by carbon detection – cost-effective monitoring of water quality in the petrochemical sector

Best Practices for Analytical Systems

Abstract: In the petrochemical industry process optimization is increasingly implemented by operators in order to reduce the consumption of essential chemicals, increase process capacities, maximize oil and gas production as well as to preserve water resources. Monitoring of water quality and its contamination caused by oils and organics is of importance. To monitor organic pollution the sum parameter TOC, total organic carbon, is used. For oil contamination there are many (laboratory) method-dependent parameters.

As both environmental protection and process optimization require fast and reliable detection, timely alarm and high equipment uptime, on-line analysers are used to monitor organics and oils in water streams instead of time consuming laboratory analysis. In practice, the correct TOC on-line analyzer is capable of detecting both, oils and organics. Normally, oil in water detection is based on indirect determination of specific compounds (aliphatics, aromotics, PAH etc.) using the capability of dissolved organics to absorb light in different spectra or emitting UV fluorescence. The intensity of the absorption or fluorescence indicates the oil contamination. With TOC analysis carbon compounds are directly oxidized producing CO2 measured by a NDIR detector. The high temperature technology at 1,200°C allows complete oxidation of all organics without catalysts or chemicals, resulting in reduced operating costs and increased reliability. Such analyzers are operated safely and reliably in many installations at refineries and petrochemical plants as hundreds of installations worldwide prove. Referring to operational experiences with these analytical equipment, this lecture will deal with the cost-effective monitoring of oil and organic contamination in water by use of carbon detection.

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