A new method for detecting impurities in petrochemical products

A new method for detecting impurities in petrochemical products

Petroleum is critically important to our daily lives.  In addition to fueling our vehicles and machinery, petroleum is used to create everything from vitamin capsules to golf balls to clothing.

Olefins, a product derived from petroleum, are the basic building blocks for the production of polymer fibers.  Their strength and resistance make them suitable for a range of products, including wallpaper and carpeting.  Polymers are produced through the catalyst controlled polymerization of propylene and ethylene monomers.

However, the production of olefins can also result in impurities and byproducts that may cause issues further downstream in the manufacturing processes.  Production of high-purity (polymer-grade) ethylene requires the selective removal of these impurities, a process that must be continuously monitored.

Agilent has developed a new solution that can be used to monitor impurities during olefin production.  Agilent’s new Arsine Phosphine GC/MS analyzer provides single-digit ppb (parts per billion) detection for arsine, phosphine and other contaminants in ethylene and propylene. The excellent detection limits achieved with the analyzer enable producers to closely monitor impurities, maximize catalyst lifetime and minimize unplanned shut downs.

The new solution is based on the Agilent 7890B gas chromatograph and the new 5977B mass spectrometer.  The 5977B mass spec is equipped with a High Efficiency Source that provides excellent detection limits by maximizing the number of ions produced during the ionization process.  When coupled with a 7890B gas chromatograph, the mass spec can be configured for a broad range of chemical analysis applications.

The addition of hydrogen into the 5977B mass spec JetClean ion source provides a means of continuous cleaning.  This leads to significant improvements in signal stability and precision, and lowers maintenance frequency.  The result is improved laboratory efficiency due to decreased downtime for source cleaning.

A GC-controlled, automated calibration system developed by Agilent holds and dilutes G-Cal permeation tubes.  For easy usage, the calibration process is automated with provided methods and sequence.  The user only has to run a sequence to gather the calibration data.

Polymer-grade ethylene and propylene require additional testing for hydrocarbon purity, non-condensable gas content, methanol and oxygenate content.  These analysis capabilities are also available from Agilent, based on ASTM test methods or per customer specifications.

And applying a broad range of research and development instruments for petrochemical products, our experienced application scientists are available to support your lab in developing methods that address any chemical plant process issues.

Agilent has provided best-in-class instrumentation and software to the chemical and energy industry for more than 50 years.  Labs around the world appreciate the reliability of our instruments, as well as the level of application support and services provided by our qualified Agilent professionals.

At Agilent, we partner with customers to provide trusted answers.

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