Continuous in-line monitoring of the refractive index in lube oil plants allows highly efficient refining process control. Traditionally, the operators perform refractive index analysis to the waxy raffinates with a laboratory refractometer. This analysis is described in the ASTM D 1747-89 Standard Test Method for Refractive Index of Viscous Materials. When manufacturing different types of Viscosity Index (V.I.) oils, it has been established through laboratory experimentation that the Refractive Index (R.I.) of waxy raffinates should remain within defined limits.The operators need to adjust the process temperatures of the different catalytic beds to maintain the refractive index of the waxy raffinates within these limits.
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