Two advanced FTIR analyzers are being employed to monitor multiple gas concentrations simultaneously in laboratory scale reactors at Sasol’s Research and Technology Centre in South Africa. The monitors, which were supplied by Gasmet Technologies (Finland), are being used to study changes in gas composition as gas passes through the reactor of the Fischer–Tropsch process – a key stage in gas-to-liquids (GTL) and coal-to-liquids (CTL) processes.
Sasol is an international integrated energy and chemical company, and a global leader in GTL and CTL technology. The company’s Nishlan Govender, a Senior Scientist in Fischer Tropsch research, uses the FTIR analysers to determine the completion of a reaction in the preparation of a Fischer–Tropsch catalyst by tracking the tail composition in the reactor. This includes the analysis of CO, CO2, NH3, CH4, H2O and hydrocarbons up to C6. The H2O measurements are corroborated by readings from a dewpoint analyser that is used routinely in the laboratory.
Both of the FTIR analyzers (DX4000) are used in conjunction with Gasmet portable sampling systems which utilise a ‘hot-and-wet’ measurement principle, so that a truly representative sample is analysed with no requirement for drying or dilution. This portable technology was chosen because it can be quickly and simply deployed, producing highly accurate readings for up to 50 compounds simultaneously.