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Market Profile

Volume 27, Issue 10

Market Profile: Vibrational Spectroscopy and Biofuels Analysis

Demand for vibrational spectroscopy techniques in the oil and gas industry is quite strong and is seeing strong growth as a result of the development of biofuels. Although biofuels account for a small part of the oil and gas industry, they are one of the largest factors in driving the growth in demand for vibrational spectroscopy from the industry.

Vibrational spectroscopy demand from oil and gas applications in 2011.
The biofuels sector is a subset of the oil and gas industry, and consists of fuels derived from organic materials. The most common biofuels are bioethanol and biodiesel, and while they still account for only a small percentage of global fuel production, growth in this sector has been rapid. The same vibrational spectroscopy techniques popular for analyzing petroleum-based fuels are just as important, if not more so, for this burgeoning industry.

Vibrational spectroscopy, which includes infrared, near-infrared (NIR), and Raman spectroscopy, is already widely used in both laboratory and process analysis applications in the oil and gas industry. Infrared spectroscopy, which consists mostly of Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) instruments, is by far the most popular, as it is capable of providing quantitation of key fuel components, especially in monitoring biofuel blends. Characteristics of NIR and Raman make them particularly useful in monitoring transesterification reactions, which are used to produce biodiesel fuels. The global market for laboratory vibrational spectroscopy in the oil and gas industry was about $45 million in 2011, of which biofuel analysis accounts for only a small percentage. However, biofuels will unquestionably continue to be a major driver of demand for this class of instruments.

The foregoing data were extracted from SDi's market analysis and perspectives report entitled The Global Assessment Report, 12th Edition: The Laboratory Life Science and Analytical Instrument Industry, October 2012. For more information, contact Stuart Press, vice president, Strategic Directions International, Inc., 6242 Westchester Parkway, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90045, (310) 641-4982, fax: (310) 641-8851,

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