oil in water analysers and detection equipment

Monitoring the oil content in water is a vital part of the Production Process with Regulatory Bodies closely monitoring the oil content in many situations from offshore rigs to onshore lakes reservoirs and rivers. This makes Oil in Water Analysers crucial to the process.

Given the nature of Oil in Water Detection, and the difficulties it poses, it has always been a troublesome area to work in. The measurement often takes place in harsh environments, and, due to the properties of the oil itself this gives rise to difficulties in keeping equipment clean. Add to this varying sample flows, variations in oil droplet size as well as the presence of interfering chemicals in the process and you begin to understand why this has traditionally been such a problematic area.

Below are the problems associated with Oil in Water Monitoring and how the Advanced Sensors Oil in Water Analysers, supplied by AMS Equipment Ltd, effectively counters all of them. If you require more information on any of our analysing/detection products, please:

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1) Cleaning of Oil in Water Analysers

Oil, due to its viscous nature and the way it adheres to most materials, is not an easy substance to work with. Traditional methods of Oil in Water Monitoring, whilst sound in principle, have often fallen prey to maintenance issues. So, whilst manufacturers may claim that their equipment requires minimal maintenance, in reality a great deal of time may be spent on keeping the instrument clean – leading to operator dissatisfaction.

The Advanced Sensors supplied by AMS Equipment Ltd are the world’s first maintenance – free Oil in Water Analysers. The unit is cleaned using ultrasonics. The ultrasonic works by breaking down the clinging oil and solids so that they are suspended in solution and washed away with the flow of sample fluid. No more time taken up using technician’s time to clean equipment, potentially interrupting the process and causing delays in production.

2) Varying Sample Flows

Some existing analysers rely on a constant flow rate in order to carry out their analysis. The Advanced Sensors do not require a constant sample flow. In fact we even stop the flow rate in order to homogenise the sample – so a varying sample flow is no problem for us.

3) Variations in Oil Droplet Size

The Oil in Water Analysers supplied by AMS Equipment Ltd measure oil concentration using fluorescence. A transmitter directs a laser into the oil in the sample chamber where the oil droplets absorb the laser energy and fluoresce. A receiver then picks up the fluorescence from the oil droplets. If the percentage of oil present increases then more the laser energy is absorbed and the amount of fluorescence emitted increases. One thing that can hinder accurate measurement using the fluorescence method is variation in oil droplet size. We overcome this by homogenising the sample. At regular intervals we stop the flow of sample fluid and activate the in-built ultrasonics. This has the dual effect of cleaning the sample chamber and lines and also of breaking down the oil droplets into a homogenised sample. After the ultrasonic is activated a reading is then taken and stored in the data logs in the Oil in Water Monitor. By carrying out this ‘static’ reading we are able to deliver repeatable results driven by a fully homogenised sample, thus overcoming the issue of varying oil droplet size.

4) Interfering Fluorescence Chemicals

In the oil production process chemicals are often added to the process fluid in order to aid in the production process. A common example of this is the addition of corrosion inhibitors which are added to the produced water in order to reduce the corrosive effect on pipework and machinery. A large number of these chemicals also fluoresce when activated with a laser which can give rise to a false inflated oil content reading when measuring Oil in Water content using the fluorescence method. In order to combat this we incorporate an Optical Spectrometer which shoots into the water to produce a fluorescence vs wavelength spectrum of the produced water. If an interfering chemical is present this will show up on the spectrum. The wavelength at which Oil in Water readings are taken is changed to a position where there are no interfering chemicals. By doing this we not only overcome the falsely inflated readings due to added chemicals, but also help to economise the use of these chemicals in the process.

In summary we know that Oil in Water Monitors and Monitoring has a mixed history and engineers and chemists are correct to be cautious when considering a measurement method for this problematic area.

This is why we are so happy to be able to state that we have overcome all of the traditional issues associated with Oil in Water Monitoring and would be delighted to discuss your needs in more detail.

Please contact us for more information and take a few minutes to read through the ‘applications’ section at the left hand side where we have outlined some of the most common uses of this type of equipment.