Robust measurement technology for improved production and storage of powdered and liquid chemicals

Biologist Works with Samples in Isolation Glove Box
Industrial Measurements

Accurate relative humidity and temperature measurement plays a critical role in the production and storage of chemicals in liquid and powdered form. The measurement instruments used in these processes must be able to cope with harsh conditions including high temperatures. When selecting your measurement technology, as well as reliability and accuracy it is also important to consider the lifetime cost and available installation options. 

Improve the efficiency of chemical drying

Drying processes like vacuum drying, commonly used in chemical processing industries, require accurate relative humidity and temperature measurement to operate energy efficiently. These kinds of processes are challenging because of the high temperatures and harsh chemicals involved, so the measurement technologies used must be robust enough to operate reliably in these conditions. 

Vaisala’s offering includes pressure-tight humidity and dew point instruments that are built to withstand high temperatures, providing stable, drift-free measurement. Instruments with Vaisala HUMICAP® and DRYCAP® technologies also include a chemical purge feature. This feature is useful when the sensor is exposed to solvents and vapors that may enter the polymer and change the sensor’s electrical properties. This manifests itself to the user as sensor drift. Chemical purge restores proper sensor performance by rapidly heating the humidity sensor, driving off any gas molecules that occupy the sensor’s polymer. Chemical purge can be initiated manually, or it can be set to run automatically at user defined intervals. For more information on the chemical purge feature, read this scientific paper.

Secure end-product quality through optimal storage conditions

The longer a chemical product is stored, the more important it is to ensure the storage conditions are optimal. Accurate and reliable humidity and temperature monitoring in chemical storage facilities is vital for safety reasons and to secure end-product quality. Many chemicals are sensitive to humidity – for example, some chemicals may react with water, causing the release of toxic vapor or even an explosive chemical reaction. 

Non-optimal humidity can also cause some powdered chemicals to form lumps, a phenomenon known as caking, which can cause problems with transportation and usage.
To make chemical storage monitoring as easy as possible, Vaisala offers a wide range of temperature and humidity probes that can be wall mounted and include an exchangeable probe to make maintenance quick and easy. 

Ensure safe use of glove boxes, reaction chambers, and vacuum chambers 

Humidity and temperature monitoring also help to increase safety when handling chemicals that are moisture or temperature reactive, either in glove boxes or when processing them in reaction chambers or vacuum chambers. For example, instruments with Vaisala DRYCAP® technology can be used in glove boxes to monitor and control the conditions inside the box. These instruments offer long-term stability, fast response times, and include a chemical purge feature to ensure they maintain high accuracy.

Easy data storage and access with cloud-based technology

Easy data storage and access with cloud-based technology

Humidity and temperature measurements performed with Vaisala probes can be conveniently stored and accessed using the Vaisala Jade Smart Cloud system. The system allows you to log data, store it real-time, and access it from any location using a mobile device.

The key benefits of the system include:

  • Scalability: As a modular system, Jade Smart Cloud can be scaled easily for a variety of purposes. Users can simply set up as many loggers and access points as they need and add more as their needs change. 
  • Cloud storage: All data collected is stored in the cloud, meaning there’s no need to worry about IT infrastructure, security, system maintenance, or setting aside server space for data storage.
  • Extremely good radio connectivity: Jade Smart Cloud’s wireless connectivity is based on LoRa radio technology, which is already widely respected. Vaisala has pushed it even further with modified features to ensure that it meets our customers’ most demanding requirements.
  • Regular firmware updates: Jade Smart Cloud’s software updates automatically, with no action needed from the end user as the new firmware version is installed directly onto the local system from the cloud.
  • Vaisala HUMICAP® sensors: Because the system uses proven HUMICAP sensors, it provides extremely stable and high-quality measurements.

Learn more about the Jade Smart Cloud system.

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Save costs and energy, and improve process control with accurate measurement of liquid chemical concentration

The concentration of liquid chemicals may change several times during processing. Typical processes include the following:

  • Mixing/blending/reaction: The objective of the reaction process, where ingredients are continuously mixed in a series of static mixers, is to achieve the final required value of a product. An example application is detergent blending.
  • Filtration/separation: Filtration is used to separate undissolved particles from a liquid, beginning with coarse filtration using separators, decanters, or settling tanks and ending with final polishing. The efficiency of the filtration process impacts the overall productivity. An example application is pure water treatment with chemical precipitation.
  • Verification/quality control: Controlling a product’s composition helps to ensure high-performance materials with exactly the right properties. Maintaining consistent quality can lead to substantial savings. Precise product concentrations also minimize the need for further treatment. An example application is product quality control in the polymerization process.
  • Distillation/dilution: Distillation is used to separate alcohol from a fermented product and to separate different alcohols – such as methanol, ethanol, and propanol – from each other. Many concentrated chemicals also need to be diluted before use. The dilution process can be monitored in the tank or in a circulation line. Concentration measurement is a vital tool when performing dilution. An example application is the autoxidation process in hydrogen peroxide production.
  • Product identification: For safety reasons and to avoid cross-contamination, it is critical to ensure that the right chemical is fed to the right tank during loading, unloading, or custody transfer. In-line Vaisala process refractometer differentiates chemicals in liquid form based on their distinctive refractive index. An example application is the chemical interface identification in loading/ unloading operation
Engineer using laptop computer working in thermal power plant

The in-line process refractometer can be used to provide real-time measurements of liquid concentration in all these processes. The technology eliminates the need for time-consuming manual sampling and the risk of measurement drift due to, for example, turbulence. The technology is low maintenance, with no moving parts that require regular replacement, meaning it has a low cost of ownership compared to density meters.
Learn more by watching our webinar: All you need to know about in-line liquid concentration and density measurement.

Furthermore, the in-line process refractometers can withstand corrosive chemicals and high temperatures thanks to their digital measurement principle, and measurements are not affected by air bubbles or the color of the liquid being measured. If needed, a wash system can also be included to keep the prism clean, thereby ensuring accurate measurement.

Discover the technology behind the Vaisala HUMICAP® and DRYCAP® technologies used in Vaisala’s humidity probes, and learn more about Vaisala in-line process refractometers.

Density measuring process

All you need to know about in-line liquid concentration and density measurement

In this webinar, we discuss the benefits and limitations of density and liquid concentration measurement using the in-line Vaisala process refractometer. Application examples presented in the webinar include examples from chemical industry, sugar refining, pulp and food industry.

Bubbles in Chemical

Measure moisture and liquid concentration

Learn more about the robust technology for ensuring safety and quality of powdered and liquid chemicals during production and storage:

  • relative humidity and temperature and dew point sensors and transmitters
  • in-line digital process refractometers 

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