Oil in water monitors are used to detect the presence of hydrocarbons in water. Samples are extracted from a stream or monitored on a continuous basis. Oil in water analysis consists of many different measurement techniques. Fluorescence analysis determines the intensity of radiation (fluorescence) from a sample which absorbs light at a shorter wavelength and emits light at a longer wavelength. Ultraviolet analysis (UV) measures the amount of UV light that a sample absorbs. Infrared (IR) analysis evaporates a solvent from a plate through which IR light is passed, or uses an IR-transparent solvent to read the solvent/oil mix with an IR instrument. Gravimetric analysis measures the dry weight of a contaminant per unit volume of fluid. After the solvent is separated from the water and boiled off in a controlled environment, the residual is weighed on a balance and reported as oil and grease. Colorimetric analysis is based on the principle that the color intensity of a solution is proportional to the concentration of a specific substance. The solvent is separated, but not boiled off. Instead, a colorimeter or spectrophotometer is used to compare the color of the solvent to known standards for the clean solvent and the specific oil to be measured.
Specifications, User Interface Options and Special Features
Oil in water monitors differ in terms of product specifications, user interface options, and special features. Product specifications include concentration range, process media temperature, and operating temperature. Typically, concentration range is measured in parts per million (ppm) or parts per billion (ppb). Dimensions, weight, plumbing and power requirements, air supply, calibration stability, and response time are additional specifications to consider. Some oil in water monitors display hydrocarbon amounts with an analog meter or simple visual indicator. Others use digital displays or video outputs such as cathode ray tubes (CRT), flat panel displays (FPD) or liquid crystal displays (LCD). Devices with manual controls have a simple front panel with knobs or potentiometers. Products with programmable digital panels, computer interfaces, and integral software are also available. Some oil in water monitors are temperature compensated, battery powered, event triggered, or explosion-proof. Others include signal processing or filtering capabilities. Devices with alarms, built-in calibration and self-diagnostics are commonly available.
Selecting oil in water monitors requires an analysis of application requirements and, in some cases, certifications. Some products are designed to monitor diesel, gasoline, or jet fuel in storm water or industrial waste streams. Others are designed to detect and measure BTEX, crude oil, fuel oils, refined oils, lubricating or hydraulic fluids, or aromatic solvents. Oil in water monitors are used to measure oil in cooling water, crude oil in produced water, and hydrocarbons in wastewater. They are also be used to monitor leaks from heat exchangers. Suppliers of oil in water monitors provide many products that meet the needs of the oil refineries, mining operations, and petrochemical facilities. Products may carry certifications from organizations such as the California Environmental Protection Agencies (California EPA) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG).
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