Transportable Dual-Band Raman System for Fuel Analysis

December 1, 2012

Transportable Dual-Band Raman System for Fuel Analysis

Fuel analysis on-the-go is achieved by BaySpec's newly developed multi-wavelength, auto-aligned Agility™ Raman system

Raman spectroscopy is a powerful technique for chemical identification based upon the molecular and crystal lattice bond vibrations. This non-destructive analysis produces chemically specific spectra and enables accurate identification and quantification. In the past, Raman technology was very difficult to be applied for fuel analysis, because most fuels, either derived from petroleum or plant-based materials, are highly fluorescent. Fluorescence interference (thousands of times stronger than Raman scattering) is the biggest obstacle which completely masks or significantly reduces the quality of the Raman spectra.

Figure 1: (a) BaySpec’s Agility™ Raman Analyzer; (b) vial holder; and (c) BaySpec’s Agility20/20 is an open software package that acquires and analyzes spectra, calibrates wavelength, verifies and identifies substances, and manages user-built or third-party spectral libraries. (Diesel spectra shown.)

Unlike other optical measurements, the fluorescence background and the color of the sample does not affect the quality of the 1064 nm Raman measurement. Now, liquid fuel measurement and analysis are straight forward tasks done in a few seconds, without needing direct contact, or any complicated preparation of the sample. In addition, dispersive 1064 nm systems reduce the stringent sampling conditions necessary at shorter wavelengths as they allow measurements through colored glass and plastic containers.

With advances in lasers, sensitive detectors, and highly efficient transmission VPG® gratings, the Agility dramatically improves ease of operation, response time, and measurement accuracy. High sensitivity and stability is achieved through optimized detector cooling and factory calibration. The compact transportable instrument measures 310 mm × 380 mm × 170 mm and weighs less than 14 lb (6 kg).

Compared to traditional 1064 nm FT-Raman technology, measurements on the Agility are non-destructive, require minimal sample preparation and results are obtain in seconds. The optical design features no moving parts and a ruggedized injection molded case is designed to withstand harsh environments with extreme temperature and humidity ranges. The device is MIL-STD-810 qualified. The laser is fully enclosed to guarantee maximum eye safety.

An on-board computer runs easy-to-use menu-driven software. The analysis is done automatically without requiring specialized training by the operator. Security is enhanced through 21 CRF Part 11 compliance with multiple levels of password protection.

Instruments are capable of identifying fuel types, quantifying fuel compositions, detecting contaminations, and calculating fuel parameters such as melting point, cloud point, and cetane/octane number.

With Agility's auto-aligned sampling accessories, users can take measurements either in their original container using a fiber optic probe, or using vial holders placed inside the instrument's sampling chamber. The minimal sampling volume is as small as 0.01 mL.

A transportable fuel analyzer is now possible for "real-world" field testing and analysis.

BaySpec, Inc.

1101 McKay Drive, San Jose, CA 95131

tel. +1 (408) 512-5928

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