Chemical


SmartMeasurement™’s flowmeters have been successfully used in a variety of applications in the Chemical Industry. Examples include using ultrasonic flowmeters or all-ceramic electromagnetic flowmeters to measure acids and other corrosive materials, using mass flow meters to mass balancing of gases and liquids, and mass flow meters in mixing and batching applications where the recipe is written based on mass units of measure instead of volumetric. SmartMeasurement™ provide a one-stop shop for all flow metering requirement in the Chemical and Petro-chemical industries.

Sulfuric acids measurement

Titanium dioxide is a chemical compound used in making paints, cosmetics, plastics, and other products and  is processed either by chlorine or sulfates.  Usually the diluted acid is completely reprocessed in separated recycling plants and then fed back into the production process. Such a recycling takes place by concentrating the diluted acid to a certain threshold and then feeding it into several vacuum evaporators, arranged one after another, to subsequently reach concentration levels above 60%.

During inspection and maintenance, the recycling plants are shut down. When the plant comes back online, the pumps, which convey the diluted acid flow to the evaporators, are particularly subject to enormous stresses from the rapid rise temperature. A non-intrusive ultrasonic flowmeter such as our AlsonicDSP, with its ability to measure liquid flows containing up to 30% particulates or bubbles, provides an excellent solution for measuring the acid flow to the evaporators while minimizing the amount of wear of the pumps.  The clamp-on transducers employed by the AlsonicDSP lend themselves to applications with larger pipe sizes because the line does not need to be broken in order to install them and because they are much more inexpensive than large, in-line style meters. Since the clamp-on ultrasonic transducers are simply mounted on the outside of the plastic pipes, they are not subject to any mechanical wear-and-tear by the aggressive medium or the solid particles contained therein.

By retrofitting with the AlsonicDSP ultrasonic flow meter, which may be installed during ongoing operation, the plant restart could be optimized effectively, not only in regard to lower wear of the pumps but also in regard to a reduction in the degree of solid particles caking in the heat exchangers, which in turn effects the overall energy efficiency of the plant. 
 
Advantages:

•    Reliable, non-intrusive flow measurement - no need to cut the pipe for installation
•    No corrosion or wear and tear caused by solid particles carried in the liquid flow
•    No risk of leakages
•    Cost-effective retrofitting without any impact on the pipe system or interruption of the process operation
•    Robust fixed ultrasonic flow meter systems such as the AlsonicDSP ultrasonic flow meter may be used in harsh industrial environments

Hydrofluoric Acid measurement

Hydrofluoric Acid is an aggressive acid used in producing Teflon®.  Liquid flow meters used with this highly corrosive fluid must be lined with specialty plastics like PTFE.  Electromagnetic flow meters with PTFE liners and corrosion resistant materials such as SmartMeasurement™’s AlamgWP offer one option for these applications. If plant operators cannot shut down their process, the SmartMeasurement™ AlsonicDSP family of clamp-on ultrasonic flow meters, provide another viable alternative.  The ultrasonic flow meters come with transducers which are installed outside the pipe wall and never come into contact with the harsh acids. An added benefit is that shutting down the process is not necessary for installation or maintenance.

The AlsonicDSP, not only measures the volumetric flow rate, but also the sonic velocity of the liquid. A PLC or DSC can be programed to correlate acid concentration level to the measures sonic fluid velocity as there is a direct relationship between sonic velocity and changes of Hydrofluoric Acid concentration. This allows the operator to also supervise the concentration of the Hydrofluoric Acid running through the pipe (range between 45 - 65% conc).

Advantages:

•    Non-intrusive  AlsonicDSP  ultrasonic flow meter  - no media contact, no leakage risk
•    Long service life with virtually no maintenance required
•    Additional concentration measurement by programing a controller to determine the changes in concentration of acids versus sonic velocity.
•    AlamgWP with Teflon liners or AlmagWC with all ceramic construction offers better accuracy of up to 0.2% vs. 0.5% for ultrasonic meters; however process shutdown is required for installation.

Sodium Hydroxide measurement

Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) is produced by means of electrolysis and then distributed via piping to the respective production plants for further processing. A stable concentration of the Sodium Hydroxide is thus obligatory and has to be monitored very closely. Inline instrumentation, such as previously installed density meters, and inline liquid flow meters regularly failed due to the harsh conditions.

The AlsonicDSP ultrasonic flow meter , not only measures the volumetric flow rate, but also the sonic velocity of the liquid, a PLC or DSC can be programed to related acid concentration level versus fluid sonic velocity. There is a direct relationship between sonic velocity and changes of Sodium Hydroxide concentration. The operator is now able to also supervise the concentration of the Sodium Hydroxide running through the pipe.  If the measured values deviate from the preset values, the process is automatically regulated.

Advantages:

•    Reliable, non-intrusive  flow and concentration measurement
•    Installation without process interruption
•    No media contact, no wear on the instrumentation, no risk of leaks 
•    Drift-free measurement and long term stable life
•     AlamgWP with Teflon liners or AlmagWC with all ceramic construction offers better accuracy of up to 0.2% vs. 0.5% for ultrasonic meters; however process shutdown is required for installation

Ammonia and Nitric Acids measurement

In production sites for Ammonia (NH3) and Nitric Acid (HNO3), often times operators rely on a radiometric analyzer for the concentration measurement of a watery Ammonia solution. Besides the difficulties in handling the radioactive materials of the analyzer, the measurement readings are unstable and may differ from the laboratory samples. Inaccurate readings of the online measurement can lead to an over concentration of the Ammonia solution (between 0.5 to 1.0%) and thus increased costs for the operator. Therefore, an accurate non-intrusive flow transmitter with its ability to infer concentration level is a superior solution.

The AlsonicDSP ultrasonic flow meter , not only measures the volumetric flow rate, but also the sonic velocity of the liquid, a PLC or DSC can be programed to relate acid concentration levels versus fluid sonic velocity. There is a direct relationship between sonic velocity and changes of concentration. The operator is now able to also supervise the concentration of the fluids running through the pipe.  If the measuring values deviate from the preset values, the process is automatically regulated.

With the AlsonicDSP ultrasonic flow meter , the plant operator is now able to reliably measure the right concentration of the ammonia solution with an accuracy of 0.1 to 0.3% - always matching the laboratory results. 

Advantages:

•    Non-intrusive online concentration measurement - substitution of the inaccurate radioactive analyzer
•    Reliable and accurate measurements with results that match the laboratory samples
•    Clean and safe solution - no risk of leakages

Gas distribution

Many chemical processes require large varying volumes of nitrogen, argon and oxygen for inert ion or purging, hydrogen as a catalyst, and many other gases. SmartMeasurement™’s ATMF  series of thermal mass flow meters, measures mass flow directly without the need of external pressure and temperature compensation. SmartMeasurement™’s ATMF  thermal mass flow meters  measure very low gas flows for leakage monitoring with very little pressure drop in the process. The ATMF Series features wide flow turndown ratios up to 800:1, integral or remote electronic configurations, HART, or Modbus outputs and have both CSA/FM and ATEX approvals. Moreover NIST traceable calibration certificates are supplied with every flow meter.

Advantages:

•    Direct mass flow measurement of any gas with actual gas calibration
•    Excellent turn-down ratios, low flows of 0.02mps up to 203 mps
•    The only thermal mass flow meter in the market that provides an in-situ calibration verification

Flare/waste gas monitoring

SmartMeasurement™’s ATMF series thermal mass flow meters are used to measure total gas flow to flare stacks and in feed lines to the main flare headers. The ATMF series thermal mass flow meters features a no-moving-parts design, high reliability with durable construction and extremely low flow range detection as mandated by EPA regulations. ATMF series thermal mass flow meters are also used to balance and optimize the control of blower/louver adjustment for smokeless flares. An optional retractable packing gland assembly permits hot tap installation and retraction of the flow element without system shutdown. User-friendly microprocessor-based electronics and a built-in keypad provides high performance, and easy on-site programming.

Advantages:

•    Direct mass flow measurement of any gas with self-diagnostic capabilities 
•    Excellent  for mass balancing and optimization control
•    Complies with EPA and ISO standards for Greenhouse gas monitoring

Nitrogen gas supply

Nitrogen is used to control the process media or avoid unwanted contact of the process media with oxygen/air. Reactors are filled and /or blanketed during operation with nitrogen. Continuous flow monitoring of nitrogen feed lines can prevent excessive gas consumption, hazardous situations due to insufficient gas supply, and expensive gas leakages. The SmartMeasurement™ ALTS series thermal flow switches and ATMF series thermal mass flow meters are used for these applications and feature a wide flow range (turndown ratio), direct mass flow measurement, and no pressure drop in the process media.

Advantages:

•    ATMF series thermal mass flow meters  are an excellent choice for nitrogen purge lines 
•    ALTS series thermal flow switches detect flow/no flow conditions or set points above/below a certain flow rate; they can be an economical alternative to flow meters in monitoring leakage
•    Both the ATMF and ALTS have excellent turn-down rations, low flows of 0.02 mps up to 203 mps

Natural gas supply lines

Monitoring natural gas flow to various areas of production is critical in keeping costs under control. In a chemical plant, various areas throughout the production plant require natural gas in the manufacture of the end product. The transportation of natural gas over great distances is a complex task, requiring specialized equipment and facilities to deliver the gas safely, efficiently and in a ready to-use form. Considerations include maintaining sufficient pipeline pressure, maintaining pipeline integrity and keeping moisture levels low. 

Often time’s customers use vortex meters and flow computers to calculate mass flow was via pressure and temperature compensation fed into a flow computer. A better solution is to use one instrument such as the SmartMeasurement™ ATMF series thermal mass flow meter.  There is no need for external pressure and temperature sensors or a flow computer to calculate mass flow. The ATMF Series offers better turndown ratios than other gas mass flowmeters, is available with integral or remote electronics, HART, or Modbus outputs and CSA/FM and ATEX approvals for highly explosive environments. A NIST traceable calibration certificate is supplied with every flow meter to validate its accuracy and performance.

Advantages:

•    ATMF series thermal mass flow meters offer a better alternative than other gas flowmeters which require additional instruments such as pressure sensors, temperature sensors and flow computer by measuring mass flow with only one instrument. 

Mass flow measurement for material in and out flows

Chemical plants built over ten years ago or more use weight measurement to measure the mass flow which wastes labor material costs by requiring samples to be taken to their laboratories. This type of old-fashioned and low-tech automation are influenced by many human factors which can result in low or unstable mass balancing of chemical fluids. 

Chemical process engineers are now using the SmartMeasurement™ ALCM series of Coriolis mass flow meters for direct process mass flow measurement.  Depending on its unique application features, SmartMeasurement™ offers a variety of unique Coriolis designs such as ALCMUT for higher flows, ALCMDT for lower flows or ALCM-MB with its micro-bend structure allowing for lower pressure drops.

The SmartMeasurement™ ALCM series of Coriolis mass flow meters offers a more accurate real-time measurement of materials, guarantees stability, and continuity of the mass flow measurement. With several flow tube designs, plant operators can chose which features best fit their applications.  The production line with the SmartMeasurement™ series of Coriolis mass flow meters is highly stable, the qualification rate of the product is high, material metering is accurate, labor costs are reduced, laborers are liberated from many operations, and a great amount of cost is saved.  

Advantages:

•    Various ALCM Coriolis flow tube designs allows operators to choose which features best fit their applications
•    Direct mass flow and density measurement of any liquid 
•    Excellent  for mass balancing and optimization control
•    Reduced labor costs by measuring mass flow of fluids in process without weighing fluids in the laboratory

See all flow meter applications