Specializing in Industrial Automation & Data Collection Since 1984

Chemistry and petrochemistry is a branch of science that focuses on the transformation of crude oil (known as petroleum) and natural gas into raw materials or useful products. Many common products are derived from this industry, such as cosmetics, detergents, fertilizers, and quite often plastics, to name a few. The materials and media used in this industry are hazardous, toxic, explosive, flammable, and corrosive, making them highly dangerous. Therefore, it is essential that the sensors used for these processes function correctly, are dependable, and are accurate in order to keep everyone involved safe. There are many types of sensors involved in chemistry and petrochemistry, but the most common are pressure, temperature, and level/fill.

Pressure Sensors

Pressure is an expression of the force needed to stop a fluid from expanding, and subsequently, a pressure sensor is a tool for pressure measurement of gasses or liquids. There are a number of different types of pressure sensors, such as differential, which measures the difference between two pressures; absolute, which measures the pressure relative to perfect vacuum; and gauge, which measures the pressure relative to atmospheric pressure.

While pressure sensors may vary in technology, design, and cost, in the chemistry and petrochemistry industry, these sensors need to be durable. This is because the pressures are often highly dynamic, so sensors need to be sustainable for heavy usage.

Applications

  • Monitoring tanks or vessels for fluids and gasses
  • Monitoring distillation columns and supply systems for fluids and gasses
  • Operating hydro-cyclones
  • Controlling expansion turbines
  • Measuring inlet, outlet, or system pressure in an engine test setup
  • Measuring pressure drops in a line for preventive maintenance
  • Isolating a water pipe leak
  • Identifying a gas leak
  • Monitoring gas and pump pressure
  • Measuring pressure in a high-temperature and high-temperature steam environments
  • Monitoring flow rates
  • Taking Baghouse measurements
  • Maintaining pressure in food and beverage lines
  • Measuring the pressure of slurry/slush using a flush diaphragm pressure transducer
  • Sanitary pressure transducers in the bio or pharmaceutical industry

Temperature Sensors

Temperature sensors sound self-explanatory but are far more technical in nature than an average household thermometer. True, these sensors are used to measure the degree of hotness – or coldness – but are done with a thermocouple or resistance temperature detector (RTD). There are two types of temperature sensors: contact, which comes into contact with the object that they measure; and non-contact, which measure the thermal radiation released by the heat source.

In the chemistry and petrochemistry industry, temperatures can range from far below zero to over 800 deg C in furnaces and flare systems. Like pressure sensors, there is a wide selection of temperature sensors available on the market and vary in quality, cost, technology, and design.

Applications

  • Measuring process and metal temperatures
  • Monitoring and controlling fired heaters and furnaces
  • Maintaining waste heat recovery units and gas turbines

Level/Fill Sensors

Level sensors detect the level of liquid, fluid, and fluidized solids. They typically include criteria such as level (or height of liquids), and phase (liquid, solid, or slurry), but can also include chemistry, density, vibration, and more. Like most other sensors, level sensors come in a variety of prices, sizes, appearances, designs, and so forth.

Applications

  • Measuring fluid/water height or levels in tanks, vessels, and drums for fluids and sludges
  • Monitoring distillation columns and retention tanks
  • Measuring coolants and condensates

In Conclusion

It is imperative in the chemistry and petrochemistry industry to use durable, reliable, and accurate sensors. Diversified Technologies has nearly 40 years of experience solving sensing application requirements for our customers. If you have any questions, please get in touch and contact us today. We are happy to use our knowledge and expertise in any and every way possible.