Process Analysis with FT-NIR Spectroscopy

FT-NIR - The Solution for Chemical Applications

FT-NIR technology is widely used in a variety of chemical industries. The high information content in NIR spectra, measured in only a few seconds, allows the simultaneous analysis of many different components and system parameters with high precision.

Bruker’s FT-NIR spectrometers have been used for more than 20 years to monitor processes in the chemical industry in a wide field of applications. In addition to the quality control of the starting materials in the feed of the reactor and products at the end of a reaction, especially the reaction monitoring in real-time is an important analysis step.

The application areas for FT-NIR process control in the chemical industry are manifold - from polymer synthesis to monitoring refining processes.

Reaction monitoring allows a precise control of the process e.g. by quantifying the important intermediates or detecting by-products. The reaction yield can be significantly improved and faulty batches prevented.

Moreover, with an inline NIR solution there is no need to pump or transfer the hazardous samples to the analyzer, minimizing the risk for the plant operators and lab personnel.

Online Monitoring of Polyurethane (PUR) Production

The polymer and plastics industry need fast reliable, non-invasive and cost-effective analytical methods for process control. The FT-NIR spectroscopy has a distinct advantage compared to other technologies: It provides a real-time assessment of the process on a molecular basis.

Polyurethanes are formed by the reaction of polyisocyanates with the polyols. Those polyisocyanates are isocyante-terminated pre-polymers, which are formed in an earlier reaction. To ensure the resulting product has an excess of reactive isocyanate left over for formulation reaction, these reactive isocyanate groups are measured as the NCO Content. For more information, please download the Application Note On-line Monitoring of NCO Content during Polyurethane Production.

In this formulation reaction the hydroxyl number of the used polyol is an important parameter for the proper formulation of PUR. This parameter can easily be determined by FT-NIR according to ISO 15063:2011.

For more information on polymer analysis with FT-NIR spectroscopy and a list of parameters download our Application Note FT-NIR Spectroscopy for Process Monitoring of Polymers.

Process control of Semiconductor Production

Semiconductors are today more than ever part of our daily lives. The demand of semiconductors is therefore increasing even further. Optimizing the production process and keeping out of spec production at a minimum is imperative to stay competitive.

The FT-NIR spectroscopy in combination with multivariate analysis is a perfect inline tool for various production steps of semiconductors to reach this goal. Due to high corrosive chemicals used for production, Bruker provides process probes made of PTFE with sapphire window to guaranteeing a long life time.

This ensures that FT-NIR can be used for many production steps like: Cleaning solutions, Etching solutions, Photoresist development and Photoresist stripping.

For more details and parameters download: Control of Semiconductor Production Processes with FT-NIR.

Quality Control of Petroleum products

Cross validation results for the online prediction of RON content during the refineryCross validation results for the online prediction of RON content during the refinery (click to enlarge)

Crude oil and refinery products represent a complex mix of the most diverse hydrocarbons. In the Near Infrared range, the molecular oscillations of C-H, C=O, N-H, O-H and S-H functional groups can be observed. The spectral information is related to the chemical composition (e.g. PIONA) as well as to the physical properties of fuel products like octane numbers, density, vapor pressure etc.

Many of these parameters refer to time consuming, expensive and cumbersome reference methods based on multi-dimensional GC, test engines for octane number evaluation or distillations. FT-NIR spectroscopy combined with Multivariate Data Analysis tools offers a solution for a reliable real time control, also in hazardous or potentially explosive areas.

For more information, please download the Application Note Quality Control of Petroleum products using FT-NIR Spectroscopy.

Further Information

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