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Learn more about how Coriolis-based flow meters can be used as microfluidic flow meter instead of thermal flow meters. Read the customer story of a microfluidics system builder who used Bronkhorst products.
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Traditionally, THT is added pulse-wise to the gas on a regular basis, using a pump with a fixed stroke volume. Especially for small gas flows - for biogas installations in the range of 40-50 m3/hour - such a batch-wise injection may lead to liquid THT remaining in the gas lines. In this way, THT may not be mixed well with the gas, it might have the wrong concentration and there is no control on supplying. By using the Coriolis flow solution the continuity and accuracy issues should be solved.
The key component of the new dosing solution for natural gas odorant is a Bronkhorst Coriolis mass flow controller (mini CORI-FLOW series) that injects a small but continuous liquid THT flow into the biogas flow. A master mass flow meter measures the biogas flow and sends a signal to the mass flow controller via a PLC. The flow controller has been set to a dosing value of 18 mg of THT per cubic meter gas and continuously injects the correct amount of THT.
In this configuration, a 40 liter THT storage tank is pressurized by means of nitrogen gas. A pulsation damper is incorporated to remove pressure surges and to guarantee a stable control. This results in a precharge pressure upstream of the flow controller of 10 to 13 bars. Downstream of the device the pressure is typically 8 bars. The flow controller is set to maximum dosing value of 40 mg/m3 .
Using this dosing solution, THT can be dosed very accurately, within a range of 1-2%. This is a major improvement compared with the traditional batch-wise method. Furthermore, the continuous dosing results in a homogeneous THT/biogas mixture, which is a more efficient way of dealing with the amount of odorant as overdosing is avoided.
Another important aspect is the operational reliability of this solution - the ability to supply the natural gas odorant to the natural gas mains. Prior to entering the mains, the biogas composition is analyzed by GC. If the biogas contains not enough THT, the grid operator will shut off the supplier from the natural gas mains. By default, the monitoring of the dosing occurs by PLC, but it can also be done by means of the flow controller itself. In this solution, it is exactly known how much THT has been dosed - and an alarm will be given when no odorant is detected. Moreover, a prediction can be made when an empty THT storage tank has to be replaced.
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Bronkhorst High-Tech designs and manufactures innovative instruments and subsystems for low-flow measurement and control for use in laboratories, machinery and industry. Driven by a strong sense of sustainability and with many years of experience, we offer an extensive range of (mass) flow meters and controllers for gases and liquids, based on thermal, Coriolis and ultrasonic measuring principles. Our global sales and service network provides local support in more than 40 countries. Discover Bronkhorst®!