Showing posts with label process refractometer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label process refractometer. Show all posts

Process Refractometers Improve Production and Quality of Phosphoric Acid Production

Phosphoric Acid Production
Phosphoric acid is an important product used in industrial applications such as the manufacture of agricultural phosphate fertilizers, detergents, pesticides, metal coating, etc. Due to its non-toxic and mildly acidic nature, phosphoric acid is also used in other applications including food flavoring, soft drinks, pharmaceuticals, dental products, cosmetics, and skin care products.

Phosphoric acid is produced by mining the naturally occurring phosphate rock and processing it via a wet process or a thermal process. The concentration of the acids during the wet process can be measured inline with the process refractometers, such as those manufactured by K-Patents.

To learn more about where and how these refractometers are used in wet process phosphoric acid production, visit the PSI Controls web page. 


Piping Specialties, Inc. / PSI Controls
800-223-1468

Inline Process Refractometers in Beer Brewing

Inline Process Refractometers in Beer Brewing

Introduction

PR-43-AThe first step in the beer brewing process is the preparation of malt grains. The extract received fromthe processing of this raw material is called wort. The second step is fermentation by yeast. The last steps are conditioning and final filtration. After filtration, the beer is ready for bottling.

Instrumentation and Installation

Vaisala K-PATENTS® Sanitary Process Refractometer PR-43-A is used at many stages of the brewery process to determine in real-time and accurately the concentration of dissolved solids. The refractometer takes an optical measurement of the refractive index of a solution and its output can be calibrated in Plato, Brix, Balling, gravity or density, depending on the preference of the brewery.
The Sanitary Refractometer is available with 3-A Sanitary and EHEDG certifications and it withstands CIP/SIP cleaning and rinsing of the facilities.

1. Mash tank

Mashing is the process of mixing the crushed malt with very hot water. In this process, the malted grain breaks down to create enzymes, which become active when exposed to water at a specific temperature. These active enzymes convert the starches into sugars. The resultant sugary liquid is known as the wort. Mashing is a crucial step as it determines the final structure of the beer.
In the mashing stage, the refractometer is used to measure the concentration of the mash in water at the outlet pipe to maintain a consistent concentration. Automatic prism wash with steam or high-pressure hot water is recommended for this application.

2. Lauter Tun

Lauter tun is a vessel used to separate the extracted wort from the spent grain. The solids in the lauter tun are rinsed with water to separate the clear liquid wort from the solids. The liquid concentration gradually decreases during the rinsing.
At the lauter tun the refractometer’s output signal is used to detect the shut-off point for rinsing, thus preventing excessive use of water. Automatic prism wash with steam or high-pressure water is recommended for this application.

3. Wort Boiler (Brew Kettle)

In the wort boiler the wort is pasteurized, and its flavor is adjusted by the addition of hops (or other flavors such as ginger or molasses). The brew is boiled until a certain strength or gravity is achieved. This step is essential for the quality of the final beer.
The refractometer is installed directly on the wort boiler to measure the wort strength/gravity. It provides an instant feedback when the wort has reached its required strength. No by-pass arrangements are required. The purpose is to eliminate sampling, optimize the boiling time, and to improve beer consistency and quality. Automatic prism wash with steam or high-pressure water is recommended for this application.

4. Hot Wort from Boiler to Whirlpool

The refractometer is installed in the wort boiler outlet to monitor the quality of the wort. Before the wort goes on to the next stage, solids are removed from the liquid by using a whirlpool. All hops and other solids are forced to the center of the whirlpool. When the whirlpool is stopped, the solids settle at the bottom, forming a fairly solid central cone. The liquid can then be drained off.

5. Chilled Wort from Heat Exchanger

The wort is cooled down to the correct temperature for the yeast. The refractometer is used for quality control, by a way of measuring the cold wort before it enters the fermentation process. This is an alternative measurement to point 4.

6. Fermentation

Fermentation starts when the yeasts are added to the wort. The yeast converts the sugars and amino acids into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The fermenting reaction is slow, and its progress must be monitored to determine the end point.
The spent yeast settles at the bottom of the tank and is frequently removed. This process helps to clarify the beer.
In fermentation, The refractometer continuously detects the changes in refractive index because of the conversion of sugars into alcohol. This allows monitoring the conversion rate, the degree of fermentation and provides an indirect measurement of the alcohol volume (%) for determining the end point (see also application note Alcoholic Fermentation).

7. Filtering

After fermentation, the beer is let to rest, so that the suspended dead yeast settles at the bottom. This conditioning process helps the maturing of the beer. The refractometer provides a quality control measurement for the wort filtering output.

8. Packing and Interface Detection

Packing is typically done by filling the beer into bottles or aluminum cans via a filling machine. Some brewers may use the same filling line for different products. In this case a Clean-In-Place (CIP) operation is required between the filling of each product.

At the filling line, the refractometer instantly detects the product-to-product and product to-CIP cleaning interfaces in bottling. The refractometer output signal can be utilized for quality control monitoring, and to ensure correct product-to-bottle selection and a product quality within specification.

If the same filling station is used for different products, the refractometer can be used for automated monitoring and controlling of the CIP cleaning process, allowing products to be switched freely. This results in increased productivity, without compromising the end product’s quality and safety.

For more information about the use of process refractometers, contact Piping Specialties, Inc. / PSI Controls by calling 800-223-1468 or visit their web site at https://psi-team.com.

Reprinted with permission from Vaisala/K-Patents.


Guide to Industrial Refractometer Applications

Industrial refractometer
Industrial refractometer
(K-Patents)
As a general rule, refractometers measure the concentration of any dissolved material in a liquid. A typical measured medium is a binary solution, but it can also be a mixture of more than two components. In multi-component solutions this is a checksum; if one of the components is wrong, the overall refractive index value changes.

The potential applications in different industries are countless. Although the manufacturing process, environment and processing medium vary from industry to industry, all basic unit operations and control strategies are roughly the same despite of the end product.




Applications discussed in the application guide include:
  • Crystallizers
  • Reactors
  • Evaporation
  • Ultrafiltration
  • Reverse Osmosis
  • Spray Dryers
  • Dissolving Tanks
  • Solid / Liquid Extraction
  • Cooking Processes
  • Ion Exchangers
  • Absorbers and Wet Scrubbers
  • Distillation
  • Interface Detection

For more information about the application of industrial refractometers in manufacturing processes, contact Piping Specialties / PSI Controls by calling 800-223-1468 or by visiting their web site at https://psi-team.com.

Process Refractometers Used in Black Liquor Recovery Boilers

recovery boiler
The recovery boiler plays a central role in the chemical cycle of a modern pulp mill. The recovery boiler is a chemical reactor, which is used for recovering chemicals from spent kraft liquor and generating energy at the same time.

In the recovery boiler, the organic matter is burned. The dry solids liquor content required for firing is at least 60 %, but preferably more than 65 %. Black liquor is concentrated by evaporating water from the liquor. When the concentration of black liquor is maximized, so is the energy production. Before entering the burners, sodium sulfate decahydrate, or glauber salt, is added to cover chemical losses.

Application
Black liquor
Chemical curve: R.I. per Black
liquor Conc% at Ref. Temp. of 20 ̊C

The liquor should have a high content of combustible dry solids in order to minimize flue gas emissions and maximize boiler efficiency.

Too low concentration of dry solids fed to the burners may result in a steam explosion with consequent damage or destruction to the boiler. Therefore, it is essential to utilize a refractometer to monitor the black liquor feed to the recovery boiler to ensure a safe operation.

Instrumentation and installation

The K-Patents Digital Divert Control System DD-23 complies strictly with all recommendations of the Black Liquor Recovery Boiler Advisory Committee (BLRBAC).

The DD-23 system includes two SAFE-DRIVE Process Refractometer sensors in the main black liquor line, two indicating transmitters and a divert control unit in an integrated panel.

The sensors are installed using K-Patents patented SAFE-DRIVE Isolation valve. This allows for safe and easy insertion and retraction of the refractometers under full operating pressure, without having to valve off the liquor piping or having to shut down the process. The SAFE-DRIVE Isolation valve contains a steam wash system for automatic prism cleaning. The system contains a SAFE-DRIVE Retractor Tool SDR-23 for safe sensor insertion and retraction.

For more information about refractometers used on blacl liquor recovery boilers, contact Piping Specialties by calling 800-223-1468 or visit https://psi-team.com.

Best Practices Document for the K-Patents PR-23-SD Safe-Drive™ Process Refractometer

K-Patents PR-23-SD Safe-Drive
This document is intended for individuals installing, commissioning, operating, and/ or servicing the Safe-DriveTM Process Refractometer PR-23-SD, generation 2.1 model. The purpose of this document is to provide a quick guide for the abovementioned tasks in the form of K-Patents recommended best practices.

This document is intended for PR-23-SD applications that have a steam wash system (typical application for black liquor) and applications that have high pressure water wash system (typical application for green liquor).

NOTE: These instructions are for quick reference only. For more thorough guidance, please refer to the K-Patents user manual and documentation that came with your equipment.

Review the embedded document below, or download a PDF version of Safe-Drive™ Process Refractometer PR-23-SD Generation 2.1 Best Practices here.

Refractometer Application for Wet Spinning of Alginate Fibers

Refractometer
Refractometer used for
wet spinning of alginate fiber.
(K-Patents
Alginates are biopolymers extracted from brown algae species such as seaweed. Extraction is performed from the harvested material by treatment with aqueous alkaline solutions. The extract is then filtered and the alginate salt is precipitated by the addition of calcium chloride or an acid. After purification, drying and milling, a water-soluble sodium alginate powder is produced. Alginates have found a variety of uses in different industries because of their unique properties. These materials have been extensively used in pharmaceutical applications as they are gel forming, non-toxic and highly absorbent.

The document below illustrates the use of industrial refractometers in the processing of Sodium Alginate. You can also download the full PDF of "Wet Spinning of Alginate Fibers" here.

Industrial Process Refractometers

Process refractometer
Process refractometer
(K-Patents)
The ultimate focus of industrial refractometry is to describe the percentage of certain compounds in a final product. Refractometry, a combination of physics, materials, and chemistry, is the process which measures the composition of known substances by means of calculating their respective refractive indexes (RI). RIs are evaluated via a refractometer, a device which measures the curve, or refraction, resulting when the wavelength of light moves from the air into and through a tested substance. The unitless number given by the refractometer, usually between 1.3000 and 1.7000, is the RI. The composition of substances is then determined when the RI is compared to a standard curve specific to the material of the substance.

Common examples of industrial refractometry uses are measuring the salinity of water to determine drinkability; calculating the dissolved solids in liquor processing in pulp and paper production;  figuring beverages’ ratios of sugar content; and understanding the hydrocarbon content of motor fuels. Regarding pulp and paper, refractometry scrutinizes content of compounds in black and green liquor processing. Regarding food, refractometry has the ability to measure the glucose in fruit during the fermentation process. Because of this, those in food services know when fruit is at peak ripeness and, in turn, also understand the most advantageous point in the fruit’s “lifetime” to put it on the market.

Process Refractometers
Equipment manufacturers have developed numerous refractometer configurations tailored to specific use and application. Each has a set of features making it the proper choice for its intended application. Product specialists can be invaluable sources of information and assistance to potential refractometer users seeking to match the best equipment to their application or process.