On June 4-7, experts in process analytical technology (PAT) gathered for the 2023 IFPAC conference. While there, they discussed the latest developments in PAT, quality by design, and overall process monitoring and control within the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food, chemical, petrochemical, and related industries.
Once again, Emerson experts were in attendance. Ye Lin and Ben Arriola presented new technologies in their Next Generation Single-Use pH Sensor presentation. The two shared how Emerson’s Rosemount sensors continue to build on over 40 years of technology development, contributing to the release of a new upstream single-use pH sensor, and the development of a prototype flow-through senor for more challenging downstream applications. The goal, Ben and Ye explained, was to provide the benefits of single-use technology—easy setup and simplified installation and sterilization—without losing Emerson’s signature focus on pH accuracy, repeatability, stability, and other critical parameters for the most challenging processing environments.
Emerson’s new single-use pH sensor is ideal for use in bag applications in upstream processes. Its integrated solution maintains pH during storage—which can be up to two years due to a patented storage solution—and acts as buffer solution for single-point standardization. It is installed quickly and easily, as it is pre-installed on and gamma irradiated with the bag assembly, meaning no autoclaving is needed. And the technology is assembled in ISO 7 Class 10,000 cleanroom with full material traceability, ensuring full compliance with industry standards.
However, pH sensors are also necessary in much more challenging downstream process applications. These operations see significantly greater variability in process conditions like pressure, flow, temperature, and more. Moreover, as final products become more complex and subject to increasing regulatory scrutiny, demands on the sensors to maintain performance expectations continues to increase.
Ye and Ben shared a promising new prototype sensor Emerson experts have developed for these processes, and ran the audience through the improvements and the rigorous testing executed in the in-house design lab to evaluate liquid sensor performance.
In the lab, Ye and Ben explained, Emerson experts developed and tested two critical new innovations. The first, a pressurized reference chamber, eliminated the problem of unusual measurement output due to signal communication across o-ring seals. By removing the o-ring and replacing it with a different seal between the process and reference electrode, the team enabled high sensor precision and stability under 90 psi process pressure and 15 GPM flow conditions.
The second solution was a more viscous replacement for the reference gel commonly used in pH sensors to increase sensor life and stability. The team developed a new gel that, in tandem with the reference chamber pressurization, greatly improves accuracy, repeatability, and stability.
Be sure to keep checking in here and on the Rosemount pages to learn more as today’s prototypes turn into tomorrow’s most critical technologies!