Fast-Responding Quartz Crystal Moisture Analyser from Michell Selected for European Ethylene Pipeline

Michell Instruments’ QMA601 process moisture analyser has been selected by a major European manufacturer to monitor trace moisture in ethylene at point of entry from the supply pipeline.

After a year-long trial at the plant, Michell’s QMA601 quartz crystal microbalance moisture analyser was shown to be measuring within specification throughout with no adjustments needed. The QMA601 with its QCM moisture sensor is a good choice for this application because it offers several advantages:

  • Ethylene will not polymerize on the quartz crystal sensor.
  • The sensor does not suffer from the interferences as its response is specific to the water molecules in the ethylene.
  • Unlike all other moisture analysis techniques, quartz crystal microbalance technology operates on a non-equilibrium basis which provides some of the fastest response speeds possible.

There is approximately 495 km of ethylene pipeline in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. This pipeline connects ethylene producers and consumers, providing an infrastructure for the petrochemical industry in these countries. Because of its highly flammable nature, Ethylene needs a special permit if it is to be transported in any other way.

Ethylene is an important chemical used for many petrochemical processes, such as the manufacture of polythene – so important that it is supplied by the producers to some European users via a pipeline. As with many other chemical processes, moisture must be kept to a minimum – in this case less than 10 ppmV. Quartz crystal technology has been proven to be fast, accurate and reliable in applications far dryer than the 0 to 10 ppmV range required for ethylene purity monitoring.

The QMA601 has global hazardous area certifications and is available with a full range of sample conditioning options.

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