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Journal of Automated Methods and Management in Chemistry
Volume 25, Issue 6, Pages 141-147
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/S1463924603000245

Automated analyser for monitoring the contents of hydrocarbons in gas emitted from exploratory bore-holes in the gas and oil industry

1Department of Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Faculty, Gdańsk University of Technology, 11/12 Narutowicza Street, Gdańsk PL-80-952, Poland
2Department of Physical Chemistry, Chemical Faculty, Gdańsk University of Technology, 11/12 Narutowicza Street, Gdańsk PL-80-952, Poland
3Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunication and Informatics, Gdańsk University of Technology, 11/12 Narutowicza Street, Gdańsk PL-80-952, Poland

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

An automated analyser for total hydrocarbon contents and hydrocarbon composition (from methane to pentanes) was constructed and tested in both laboratory and field exploitation. It used two-channel analysis: continuous measurements of total hydrocarbon contents and periodic (90 or 150 s) composition analysis after separation of hydrocarbons on a gas chromatographic column. Flame ionization detectors were used in both channels. A simple 16-bit analogue-to-digital converter was used (4.8, practically four orders of magnitude), while the full measuring range (six orders of magnitude) was ensured by automatic dilution of the sample (or standard) with clean air. Full control of the operating (calibration/analyses) cycle was performed by microcomputer. An external programme, based on a computer provided with full information on the instrument operating conditions, presents the results of calibrations/analyses and enables them to be archived in a standard database used in the oil/gas drilling industry (N-LAB) by providing a suitable link. The instrument measuring range was 1 ppm to 100% with precision not worse than 5% at the detection limit. The analyser can operate autonomously for two months, recalibrating itself daily.