Real-time measurements of multi-components in process streams respond to long demanded industry requirements of fast, accurate, reliable and economical process analyzers. The rise of such -yet unavailable– systems will lead to a paradigm change throughout the process control and production chain. Significant cost savings from the Total-Cost-of-Ownership to improved process efficiency will result. We focus on the development of compact, robust and maintenance-free sensors for fast in-line multi-species chemical composition measurements for process analytics of many technically relevant gases such as hydrocarbons. The projected sensors will replace state-of-the-art systems of elevated cost and pollution. We will extend established laser-based in-line gas sensing to the mid-infrared “chemical fingerprint” spectral range for multi-species detection. The developments base upon two key technologies: (1) The integration of mid-IR laser arrays and (2) the advancement of spectroscopic and chemometric data evaluation. Tasks performed today with extractive systems with a delayed response of several minutes will become available within seconds and negligible delay. Demonstrators will be integrated in the control loop of a petro-chemical plant allowing significant improvements as optimized product quality, minimized waste and thus less environmental pollution and increased safety in cases where hazardous conditions have to be detected without delay. The consortium represents the whole value added chain with major players in the field of mid-IR laser sources and their integration (nanoplus, III-V Lab), as well as a major player in the field of process analyzing equipment (Siemens AG). The contributions of scientifically established universities and institutes (CEA Leti, Universität Würzburg and Politechnika Wroclawska) and one SME (Airoptic) complete together with a prominent representative of the petrochemical industry (PREEM AB) as end user the consortium.
There is a continuously increasing need for miniaturised sensors providing simultaneous access to multiple chemical and biochemical parameters sensing. Optical spectroscopy is the golden standard for the identification and quantitative measurement of several chemicals simultaneously, using a single device: a spectrometer. Challenge #1: Conventional FTIR spectrometers are bulky benchtop instruments. Regarding PTS for gas sensing, the proof-of-concept has only recently been validated at macroscopy scale. Considering field deployment of such spectrometers, the main challenges are related to the production cost, ruggedness & size of the instrument. Challenge #2: A key advantage of FTIR absorption spectroscopy is its broad spectral range in the MIR range, where fundamental molecular vibrational tones have large absorption cross section. However, while conventional benchtop FTIR spectrometers can operate up to 25000 nm or more, it is still a big challenge when considering miniature spectrometers to reach a wide spectral range coupled with high sensitivity. SIWARE recently developed an ultra-compact, MEMS-based, FTIR spectrometer. The commercial product, NeoSpectra, is operating in the Near-Infrared range up to 2500 nm. BROMEDIR will address the aforementioned challenges and make an important step towards meeting the related need, using Neospectra as a Spectroscopy Development Platform, targeting though the development of a radically new spectrometer with multiple extensions of its capabilities beyond the SotA. In parallel, a novel, miniaturised PTS spectrometer will be developed, taking advantage of the same silicon-MEMS technology platform that has been used for the development of the PIC used in Neospectra’s FTIR chip. In BROMEDIR, this new generation of miniature spectrometers will be used to develop sensing platforms, to be demonstrated in 3 application domains: a) sustainable farming, b) hydrogen supply chain quality monitoring and c) fuel quality control