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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Laboratory accuracy in a hand held robust field deployable instrument for fuel analysis
Article Type: New products From: Sensor Review, Volume 31, Issue 2
Oxford RF Sensors launches a hand held fuel analyser that measure diesel bio-fuel mixtures with the same accuracy as laboratory FTIR
With the rapid growth of bio-fuel use, a simple, rugged and accurate fuel tester is an essential tool for quality assurance through the entire bio-fuel chain from producer to end-user.
Oxford RF Sensors has developed a hand held battery powered sensor to measure diesel/bio-diesel mixtures that provides real time in field measurements with the same accuracy as laboratory sampling methods.
The sensor measures the amount of bio-diesel in diesel and will also indicate whether the sample contains FAME or unrefined vegetable oil, contamination of the fuel or if a non-diesel sample is being tested. Common contaminants detected with an out of range error message include white spirit, petrol and water.
With increasing instances of material compatibility problems with FAME products, such as fuel pumps, the measurement of bio-ester content in diesel is now a key test parameter for many users. Recent advances in RF Sensor technology provide a portable and low-cost solution for this measurement. The robust sensor design is ideally suited for on-site test work as an early warning of possible contamination. The test procedure requires no special skills or lab conditions and is therefore suitable for a broad range of applications, from batch-checking fuels at terminals, through to monitoring fuel supplies for standby power generation systems. Independent trials show good agreement with laboratory-based Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) methods.
Simple and rugged
Operation is simple, intuitive and quick. Dip the sensor probe into the fuel sample and press a button. The blend percentage is displayed within seconds. There are no consumables.
The sensor uses patented RF technology developed in conjunction with the University of Oxford. The sensor will take a reading in 20 s and is accurate to within ±1 percent over the range of bio-diesel concentrations from 0 to 100 percent. Accuracy is comparable to standard FTIR spectroscopy measurement and correlates well with standard reference methods.
The unit uses a simple and quick air calibration before each reading and there is no need to calibrate the unit using special calibration fluids.
For more information contact: Roy King-Underwood – roy@oxfordrfsensors. com