Choosing an Instrument for Water Measurements in Liquid Samples

ClearVIew db photometer options

Water concentration is perhaps the most common measurement made in the near-infrared (NIR) spectral range. This is due to its strong effect on product properties and chemical reactivity of the starting materials. From an analytical perspective, water is easy to measure due to its relatively strong signal compared to the hydrocarbon background.

Moreover, because water is commonly analyzed with a single wavelength, filter photometers are the instrument of choice. Guided Wave’s application note, “A Word (or Two) About Online NIR Water Measurements in Liquid Samples”, explains how we arrive at recommending a system, that is, a photometer with the proper wavelengths and a fiber optic probe with an appropriate sample path length. The following considerations affect the choice (and price) of the appropriate photometer and probe system:

Factors to Consider
• Background hydrocarbon spectral characteristics
• Concentration range of water and desired analytical precision
• Potential interference from hydroxyl species
• Sample temperature variations and clarity Analytical Goals
• Provide maximum sensitivity
• Select wavelength(s) to stay within linear range
• Minimize interference due to background hydrocarbon variations and sample temperature changes
• Use an optical path of >1 mm in the fiber optic probe for ease of cleaning and minimal entrapment of bubbles and particles

Cost Effective Solution
The application note explains these factors and analytical goals in detail. Thus illustrating a cost-effective solution for obtaining the desired sensitivity for water over the concentration range of interest in most organic liquids.

Faster Removal and Servicing of Insertion Probes without Shutting Down Process

Extractor Probe

Servicing ALL Probes and Flow Cell Insertion probes interface the analyzer to the process or sample, and regardless of the manufacturer, all probes used for absorption spectroscopy must be referenced (or zeroed) periodically and the windows occasionally cleaned. Therefore, practical methods for maintenance of the probe or access to the windows must be considered when choosing new sample interfaces.

Guided Wave’s Extractor Mechanism can be used for the controlled extraction of an in-line probe from pressurized process streams or reactors. Coupled with a gate or ball valve, these extractors have proven safe and effective in a variety of installations.
Installation Examples:

• Reformer, Gasoline Blending, Blender Feed Streams
• Polyols, Polyesters, Solvent Recovery Applications

The Extractor Mechanism utilizes a pneumatic drill to extract and insert the probe from the assembly via a gear mechanism. It may also be operated by a hand-held crank if drills are not permitted in the areas. When the Extractor Mechanism is purchased with an insertion probe, its conveniently assembled at the Guided Wave factory prior to shipment, allowing installation in the field to be fast and uncomplicated. Shutting down the process just to remove the probe and clean the windows isn’t possible for most plants. Installing the Extractor Mechanism allows a way to maintain the probe while the process is running, thus allowing continued use of the analyzer to verify process quality.

Benefits of Using the Extraction Mechanism
• Quick and easy window cleaning without interruption in your process
• Works with insertion probes in service at pressures of up to 700 psi (48 bar)
• Custom extractors with different mounting flanges available
• Custom materials of construction available
• Installs easily on a 2 inch 300# flange of a gate or ball valve (other options available)
• Compatible with Guided Wave and other brands of probes

The method in which the probe is secured and installed in the process line is critical for safety and performance reasons. Additionally, the probe should be installed so that plant personnel can reliably remove and reinstall it in the same position each time. And that’s the beauty of the Extractor Mechanism – it achieves this goal in a superior way. – James Low, Guided Wave Sales & Support Director James Low, Guided Wave Sales & Support Director

Amgen Tour May 2019 Rancho Cordova California

Amgen Tour of California in Guide Wave’s Neighborhood

The 2019 Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race created and presented by AEG. Guided Wave’s facility is located in Rancho Cordova, California which is one of 13 Host Cities selected for the 14th edition of America’s premier professional cycling stage race. The race takes place from May 12-18, 2019 over 773 miles of California’s most scenic highways, mountain roads and coastlines.

On May 13th, the Stage 2 Start of the 2019 Amgen Tour of California will kick off on Prospect Park Drive in front of the iconic Rancho Cordova City Hall – which is only minutes from Guided Wave headquarters. Guided Wave’s staff will be out with hundreds of other locals to cheer on the 19 teams from around the world who will compete. Riders are expected from more than 30 nations.

Heading east from the start, the route will follow White Rock Road through the City of Rancho Cordova and El Dorado Hills, and then connect with the Stage 6 course from 2018. Once again, racers will enjoy the huge crowds and warm hospitality in Placerville.

They will also encounter some serious elevation. The King of the Mountain at Carson pass tops out at 8,620’, the highest point the race has ever reached in its 14 years. A long descent will allow the riders a short rest, but a left turn onto Highway 89 will take them to the top of Luther Pass and into South Lake Tahoe. For those who have raced to South Lake Tahoe in previous years, they know that a brutal finish up the steep roads to the Heavenly ski area finish looms ahead. Click here for a map of the Stage 2 race route.

How to Stream

Watch online at or on-the-go with the Amgen Tour of California TourTracker App, the premier app for up-to-the-minute and comprehensive information. Download the free app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices via iTunes, Google Play and the Apple and Android app stores.

Watch on TV on NBC and NBC Sports Network. Stay tuned to for the latest schedule.

Fun Facts

  • The race takes place from May 12-18, 2019 over 773 miles of California’s most scenic highways, mountain roads and coastlines.
  • 19 teams from around the world will compete in the Amgen Tour of California, and riders are expected from more than 30 nations.
  • The race will welcome back past champions, including Team Jumbo-Visma’s George Bennett (2017); BORA-hansgrohe’s three-time World Champion Peter Sagan (2015), who also holds the race record for stage wins (16); and EF Education First Pro Cycling’s U.S. veteran rider Tejay van Garderen (2013), whose credits include three top-10 Grand Tour finishes and the race record for the largest winning margin of all time (+1.47” ahead of the next competitor).
  • Starting on the first day of competition, the riders compete for jerseys in the overall competition (yellow jersey), King of the Mountain competition (polka dot jersey), sprint points competition (green jersey), best young rider competition (white and black jersey), and most courageous jersey (light blue jersey).

Feasibility Study: Ensure Proper Ethylene Glycol Production Yields using NIR Technology

Water Drop in water

When measuring the water concentrations in an Ethylene Glycol (EG) sample, NIR Spectroscopy is the technology of choice. Ethylene Glycol and its derivatives are used across a wide range of industries including automotive, polyester fibers and resins, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage processing, pipeline maintenance, textiles, aviation, medical, and HVAC.

The most important variable affecting the glycol production is properly managing the water-to-oxide ratio. In commercial plants, improvement in yields can occur with a large excess of water under controlled pH levels in the solution. Tim Felder, President of Felder Analytics, a thirty-five-year veteran in applied process analytical technologies (PAT) states, “The trick is to measure and control the level of water to prevent any uncontrolled exothermic reaction. When this is done, both safety and yields are improved in the process.” He continues, “Guide Wave’s technology was selected by a leading worldwide EG producer as the most achievable control technology for measuring this process.”

Many EG manufacturers prefer using Guided Wave’s NIR instruments, due to the state-of-the-art design, repeatability, stability and elimination of drift. Both analyzers, the full spectrum NIR-O spectrometer or the ClearView db photometer make managing this measurement efficient. Either analyzer can be used successfully, the choice depends on the complexity of the application (i.e., number of measurements, varying chemistries, number of sample points and measurements). View the Feasibility Study

Sample Interface Webinar Tuesday – May 14, 2019 – 9:00 AM PST

Guided Wave Webinar

Have questions about probes and flow cells, or sample interface in general? Attend our free educational webinar “Getting to the (Sampling) Point!”
• Educational webinar
• Twenty minutes of expert advice
• Q&A time is provided for your specific questions

REGISTER HERE: Sample Interface 101 Getting to the (Sampling) Point!
Online process measurements with NIR or UV-VIS spectroscopic analyzers will require a sample interface. The sample interface is a critical element of any process analyzer system and is the “virtual view” into the process. The sample interface consists of either a probe or flow cell and is designed for use with fiber optic cables which are coupled to the analyzer. The probe or flow cell is the point where the light meets the sample. As a result, the sample interface performance strongly affects the overall system performance of a process analyzer. High optical efficiency and low sensitivity to environmental factors are essential to precise, reliable measurements. Thus optimal system performance requires sample interfaces that are not overly sensitive to vibration, temperature and pressure changes.

25 years ago, process probes for fiber optic spectroscopy were small, fragile devices with poor optical throughput, ill-defined path lengths and uncollimated light beams. Today that’s all changed, but there is still a lot of confusion on how to choose the correct sample interface to achieve optimal results. From probe to flow cell, pathlength, compatible materials and certifications; Guided Wave has the answers.

Attend our free educational webinar “Getting to the (Sampling) Point!.” webinar is 20 minutes of expert advice from a company who designed one of the bestselling and most copied process probe designs in the world, the SST Probe. Developed in 1991, the SST probe (and family of probes) continue to be valued by users and process engineers, worldwide, for the confidence it promotes in the quality of their data and, thus, their final product. REGISTER NOW

Guided Wave 35 Years Strong – Honoring Customers for their 20 Years of Patronage

Guided Wave Customer awards

Established in 1983, Guided Wave has been in continuous business operation for over 35 years. To commemorate this event the company recognized customers who have patronized Guided Wave for 20 or more years.

As a token of appreciation, several companies were awarded a plaque and thank you letter from Guided Wave President, Susan Foulk, and Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Debra Hall. “We wish to thank all of our customers for their loyalty and continued patronage. Customers like Dow, BASF and Invista have been with us since the beginning and their belief in Guided Wave and our products are why we are able to celebrate this thirty-fifth milestone.” stated Susan Foulk, she continued, “Our product reliability, stable instrument platforms and responsive technical support are why companies from around the world have depended on Guided Wave and continue to do so.”

The team at Guided Wave thanks and acknowledges the following companies for over twenty years of loyalty and support:
• Eastman Chemical – in Kingsport, Tennessee
• Dow Chemical – in Midland, Michigan
• Dow Chemical – in Freeport, Texas
• Dow Chemical – in South Charleston, West Virginia
• BASF- in Florham Park, New Jersey
• Invista- in LaPorte, Texas
• Advan6Specialty Materials – in Colonial Heights, Virginia
• Covestro – in Bayport, Texas
• Evonik – in Mobile, Alabama
• UOP Honeywell – in Des Plaines, Illinois

Read the full Anniversary Story

Clean Results, Clean Solutions

Need to monitor the color of your final product for Consumer acceptance? Guided Wave can help.

APHA Color quantifies the appearance of trace amounts of yellowness, which is a visual indicator of product degradation due to exposure to light or heat; the presence of impurities and negative effects of processing. As such, APHA color is often used as a product release specification. In many cases, for materials such as polyols, ethylene oxide, and others, the product release requires the APHA value to be less than ten. In these situations, a ClearView® db measurement will give improved sensitivity.

  • Measurement of APHA color either on-line or in a laboratory setting
  • Eliminate off-spec material requiring rework or waste
  • Save money and time with economical, high-precision,
    real-time measurements
  • Minimize cost-per-sample point with option to monitor
    two different process locations

Review Guided Wave’s Application Note: APHA Measurements

Stability Monitoring System Technology Ensures Validated Results

Stability Monitoring System  SMS Filter Spectrum

An important consideration for successful process monitoring is the ability to continually validate the performance of the hardware components in the analyzer system. Technological advances with hardware and software have allowed Guided Wave to incorporate a Stability Monitoring System (SMS) in Guided Wave’s NIR-O analyzer. This hardware/software package continuously monitors the analyzer hardware performance to ensure the analyzer is producing validated spectral data.

Continuous, Simple, No Consumables
SMS provides an advantage over other systems. For example, with FT-NIR analyzers, validation is often done using external fluids (i.e., Pentane and Toluene) which may not be readily available and are an expensive consumable. With a Guided Wave NIR-O analyzer the SMS validation system is simple and requires no maintenance or consumables. Using SMS there is no need to interrupt the other channel operation. It provides automatic and continuous analyzer validation according to ASTM methodology.
SMS Validation Detects Changes in Performance
The performance tests identifi ed in the ASTM D-6122 validation practice are diagnostics that can be used to detect changes in analyzer performance. This validation provides assurance that the measurement produced by the analyzer is a result of equipment that is operating properly. Since this is a hands-off procedure, it can be conducted in the background with no human intervention. The validation is done with an internal filter having a characteristic spectral signature. There are no liquids or other external sampling modes that are necessary. Everything is contained inside the
NIR-O analyzer enclosure and all SMS related materials are completely non-hazardous. This topic is addressed in ASTM practice D-6122-19 under
instrument performance tests. The ASTM practice provides a set of criteria for establishing baseline analyzer performance validation. Three levels of hardware testing are established:
Level 0 – When Level 0 – Tests the analyzer hardware’s capability to generate a consistent spectrum. This is accomplished by measuring photometric noise, baseline stability, spectral resolution, photometric linearity, and wavelength stability.
Level A – Tests compare key parts of the spectral data with historical data to identify deviations.
Level B – Tests and monitors the instrument performance for deviations that affect the system calibration models.

Guided Wave’s SMS operation is seamlessly integrated into the OmniView control software for NIR-O. SMS provides assurance that all ASTM required measurements are conducted at the appropriate time and will send a signal or message to the control system if a validation issue is encountered.

Built-in SMS Provides Peace of Mind
Utilizing the SMS validation syste technology, Guided Wave analyzers provide real-time process measurements with proven reliability. LEARN MORE ABOUT SMS

Real Time Process Monitoring for Copper Contamination – Improves Semiconductor Industry Production Efficiency

Semiconductor Industry Production Efficiency

Copper contamination is a major concern for the semiconductor industry. With the advent of Tin and Tin/Silver solders for Lead-Free/RoHS compliant electrodeposition, the risk of trace copper contamination (<20 ppm) due to leaching of copper into the acidic bath solutions requires real time monitoring to ensure proper plating. A Guided Wave ClearView® db analyzer, coupled to a Teflon™ Axial flow cell with a pair of fiber optic cables, will out-perform conductivity meters for monitoring electrochemical deposition processes. This is because the analyzer system does not respond to contaminating species. Further, reliable readings are assured since all critical optical parts are corrosion proof and of the highest quality. The ClearView db is also well-suited for continuous monitoring of several other common semiconductor processing solutions including, H2SO4, HF, H2O, Copper, Cobalt, Nickel, and others.

Guided Wave offers support for two electrodeposition applications. The first application monitors the concentratio of copper in the grams per liter range. This has an expected measurement error of ± 1 g/l and is ideal for real time monitoring of copper plating solutions. The second application targets lead and copper free plating of Sn and Sn/Ag plating solutions. This trace copper contamination application was developed to monitor the build up of sub 20 ppm of copper in the plating solutions utilizing Guided Wave’s ClearView db photometer. Application Note

Safe and Efficient Control of the Acrolein Process

Safety First, let Guided Wave help monitor your explosive and toxic chemicals

Are You Using the Safest Process Control Methods?

Acrolein is an explosive and extremely toxic chemical whose handling requires the highest safety standards.

Review Guided Wave’s Application Note Safe and Efficient Control of the Acrolein Process

  • Guided Wave ClearView® db enables measurement of water and acetaldehyde in Acrolein at low % concentrations at 1 or 2 sample points
  • The use of NIR spectroscopy limits the need for hazardous, manual lab sampling
  • Accurate, repeatable results are available online in real-time (seconds)
  • Proven field installations which have been operating for many years
  • Reliable results are obtained safely and with minimal ongoing costs