Process monitoring is important across a range of industries. Heat exchangers are used commonly in power plants, petrochemical and other heavy industries. Oil leakages at turbines, pumps or within the heat exchanger can pollute the cooling water with oil which negatively impacts heat transfer and accelerates corrosion. Detection of hydrocarbons in the cooling water in the ppm and ppb levels in these systems can identify failures early and save thousands of dollars in operational and maintenance costs. In the case of cooling water which is discharged in to the environment, monitoring can help ensure compliance with environmental regulations. Continuous online monitoring requires a sensor which can operate with little or no maintenance and is sensitive and selective to hydrocarbons.

Quality control and regulatory factors in the chemical industry necessitate inline monitoring of key operations. High pressures and temperatures or sensitive processing environments in this industry often make grab sampling and offline process monitoring impractical or impossible. In some instances, it may be necessary to isolate the sample cell from electronics as well. In pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturing, at-line cleaning verification is a critical process to ensure the prevention of contamination and cross-contamination of residues between manufacturing runs. This is also true for clean-in-place (CIP) processes used in food and beverage manufacturing. Inline monitoring of the rinse water can help reduce water usage, sanitizer consumption, wastewater costs and process time while maintaining the required level of sterilization. 

UV spectroscopy is a robust, non-contact process which can be used for inline monitoring of a majority of organic compounds. While absorption spectroscopy is more universally applicable, fluorescence can offer high sensitivity and selectivity. Traditionally, deuterium or xenon flash lamps have been used for spectroscopy since these light sources supply ample light in the UV wavelengths. However, these light sources emit light in a broad spectrum which needs to be filtered out to measure or monitor specific compounds. In addition, these lamps require expensive power supplies and hence, have a large system cost. Deuterium lamps have a relatively low lifetime and consequently, require more frequent replacement. Xenon flash lamps have a poor stability of light output and therefore a lower limit of detection.

Crystal IS UVC LEDs offer several advantages in these applications:

  • Narrow wavelengths for selective, targeted measurements and lower initial cost
  • Long lifetime for low cost of ownership
  • Small footprint for easy inline monitoring
  • High spectral quality of our LEDs provides measurement linearity over a wide range
  • Light source and the associated electronics can be isolated from the flow cell for explosion proof applications