📢 Mark on your calendar : Sofraser will be at Achema 2024! 🌐


We are delighted to announce that Sofraser will be exhibiting at Achema 2024 located in Frankfurt, Germany, the must-attend event for process technology and the chemical industry!

Come and meet us from June 10 to 14 to discover our latest technological solutions.

Our team will welcome you at stand F1 in hall 11.1 to present our innovations in viscosity measurement and process analysis.

Here’s what you can expect from our stand at Achema 2024:

– 💡 Case studies: Watch case studies, and how they can be integrated into your industrial processes.

– 🧪 Expert advices: Our PhD & engineers will be on hand to discuss your specific challenges and help you find tailor-made solutions.

– 🎁 Contest and prize: Participate to our exclusive contest game and win valuable vibrating leisure experience, so don’t miss this opportunity!

Don’t forget to make a note of these dates and visit us at Achema 2024. We look forward to sharing our innovations with you and discussing the latest industry trends.

See you soon at Achema 2024! ✨

High viscosity fuels

HVF Viscosity

High viscosity fuels are products generating combustion from other industries residues and are used for economic reasons. Variations within high viscosity fuels are commonplace considering their origins and additives.

These products are usually solid at room temperature and liquid at their working temperature. HVF are used for energy production, industrial and central district heating, and manufacturing companies like cement manufacturers, sugar refineries, and paper mills.

HVF, without a viscometer, cannot be burned efficiently due to the vast non-homogeneities. Controlling the viscosity of HVF and its pressure improves the efficiency of the combustion. Viscosity control before the injection is indispensable and implies heating the HVF.

Burning high viscosity fuels presents problems such as: non homogeneity or poor injection/spraying, causing an incomplete combustion, creation of unburns, fuel over-consumption, and other outcomes companies tend to avoid.

Therefore, the need for viscosity control is crucial.

Sofraser’s viscometer solution for high viscosity fuels

The installation of a vibrating inline process viscometer – Sofraser MIVI sensor – and associated electronic controller allow the high viscosity fuel to reach the correct viscosity when heated and they maintain stability during the combustion process which allows consistent atomization.

The Sofraser MIVI is robust over in time, has no moving parts, nor maintenance. Due to uncomplicated access to wetted part the MIVI is easy to clean and has nod drift in time. Sofraser offers you the possibility to put options on your MIVI to vary the oil flow rate, our electronic controller can include high and low viscosity alarms and / or temperature alarms, improving the fail-safe operation.

Real-time viscosity measurement of Engine Oil

Why control engine oil?

One of the biggest field of innovation for the industry is the control of engine oil.

Engine lubricants are complex and highly technical fluids that perform various protective and functional tasks. They provide a hydrodynamic film between moving components, including heat distribution, suspension of contaminants, neutralization of acids and corrosion prevention, etc.

To prevent engine failure, the oil must be change before it loses its protective properties. At the same time, an unnecessary oil change is undesirable for environmental and economic reasons. In order to optimally plan the oil drain interval, the actual physical and chemical condition of the oil must be monitor. Guarantying to your engine a quality oil is guarantying your engine to have a longer life thanks to an early detection of possible engine failures.

Advantages of real time viscosity measurement of engine oil

Real-time viscosity measurement has a real advantage in knowing how your oil ages. In common practice, the oil is changed at a constant hour or mileage. As recommended by lubricating oil manufacturers or OEMs. This oil change method is not based on the actual condition of the specific engine oil, it may be replaced before or after its useful life is exceeded. Too soon is a waste of money and too late is damaging your engine.

Ideally, the assessment of the condition of the oil should only be based on parameters measured directly in the oil itself.

Real-time on-line monitoring of engine oil viscosity has several motivating benefits related to cost, environment and machine security.

Sofraser’s expertise

Sofraser has the experience and knowledge and offers a large range of viscometers, allowing you to find the best fit for your company and your product. Our Direct kinematic viscosity analysers deliver the information in real time, on the same product and with one sensor. It is simple to use and to install and no extra density meter is require.

Also available: our sofuel OEM solution, the most precise OEM solution for light to heavy fuel viscosity control.

Thermoset Viscosity Analyzer
Thermoset Viscosity Analyzer

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Very high viscosity fuels

Control of very high viscosity fuels

The non-homogeneity of very high viscosity fuels is the first factor to be corrected to ensure stable combustion processes. Very high viscosity fuel cannot be burned without a viscometer because of the high disparity of the product. Viscosity control before injection is essential and requires heating of the fuel.

control of very high viscosity fuels
Control of very high viscosity fuels

The main problem with burning very high viscosity fuel is its inhomogeneity creating poor injection. This results in low quality combustion, over consumption, smoke emissions, frequent maintenance operations and unacceptable downtime in the plants. In order to achieve uniform atomization, the installation of a MIVI sensor and its associated electronics allows to reach a good viscosity of the fuel with very high viscosity thanks to the heating. It also allows to maintain the stability of the combustion process.

MIVI viscometer can be calibrated up to viscosity ranges of 1,000,000 cP. The installation of a MIVI sensor on an industrial steam injection burner allows up to 100% fossil fuel savings, using only very high viscosity fuel such as animal fuel. The return on investment after installation is immediate. MIVI process viscometer not only reduces the consumption of fossil fuels, but also standardizes the inhomogeneities of high viscosity fuels by allowing the control of their viscosity at a specific value.

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Measurement of the viscosity of heavy fuels in combustion

The use of the MIVI viscosimeter in heavy fuel combustion processes

Fuel atomization ensures optimal combustion with low particulate emissions and requires a specific viscosity. When the spray droplet size is not optimized; the combustion of heavy fuels presents certain problems, such as unburned fuel, residue and clogging in the combustion chamber; over-consumption and pollutant emissions. Variations in fuel composition affect the viscosity and temperature of the combustion process. Controlling viscosity at this time is essential.

The MIVI process viscometer and its control interface instantly ensure a correct and constant viscosity, in line, by activating the heating element, which stabilizes viscosity variations. The MIVI viscometer is robust and reliable over time. It has no moving parts, so it requires no maintenance.

use of viscometers
Viscosity application for heavy fuels, oils and petroleum

The installation of a MIVI sensor in a central heating boiler with mechanical spraying has resulted in stabilization of combustion parameters of the order of 1% and fuel consumption savings of more than 1%. In standard combustion processes, the Sofraser MIVI viscometer provides a return on investment in less than 4 months.

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Concentration of black liquor in recovery boilers

Application of viscosity measurement in black liquor concentration

Recovery processes can be optimized by burning highly concentrated solids in the recovery boiler. Viscosity control is imperative to stabilize the concentration of black liquor before entering the recovery boiler.
An unstable concentration of black liquor generates waste. Overconsumption, increased energy supply costs, smoke emissions; and frequent maintenance operations leading to downtime that reduce overall plant productivity.

Application of viscosity in black liquor concentration

By installing an in-line process viscometer – MIVI sensor – after the evaporator or concentrator, the black liquor solids can be regulated. The black liquor solids will follow the operating cycle if it is within the optimal combustion parameters. Or will return to the evaporation column if this is not the case.

Our MIVI viscometer does not drift over time and can be mounted in any position specifically designed for each process to avoid clogging. The viscosity range of the sensor can be adapted to different black liquor compositions.

Optimization of recovery boilers by viscosity control indicates a reduction of 3 to 20% in the frequency of water washings. Installation of the MIVI process viscometer accurately controls the concentration level of black liquor and standardizes its supply for efficient combustion. Studies have shown that regular monitoring of black liquor viscosity as part of an overall optimization process can save some plants more than $1 million per year.

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Viscosity measuring solution for fuels in marine engines

Viscosity control in marine engine fuels

The regulation of fuels spraying – diesel and heavy fuel oil – over wide viscosity; and temperature ranges requires continuous and accurate viscosity measurement and control. Transition from heavy fuel oil to marine distillate is characterised by a high difference in viscosity; and can lead to uncertain transition times as well as compromising temperature and viscosity stabilisation in the engine.

Combined with an electronic controller, the installation of an in-line vibrating process viscometer – Sofraser’s OEM viscosity sensor – in a fuel conditioning module, enables the viscosity and temperature of the fuel oil to be monitored and controlled during the transition from marine distillate to heavy fuel oil. A single viscometer can operate as standard with the use of both fuels and facilitate the transition from one to the other. It is easy to clean and the submerged parts are easily accessible.

The viscometer indicates an accuracy of 1% under real fuel regulation conditions. The installation of the viscometer offers a significant improvement to heavy fuel oil combustion systems on ships. It operates autonomously after installation and requires no maintenance.

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Visbreaking in petroleum refineries: the key for a valuable product

In Refineries and Petrochemical processes, on-site control is of primary importance with regards to product quality.

The use of reliable viscosity measurement is critical to refineries for safe characterization and handling the products. It became essential for better process control while increasing output capacity to meet ever growing demands. Visbreaking is one of several cracking methods used in the petroleum industry to process crude oil and petroleum products for commercial use. Developed in the late 1930s, it is used to produce more valuable products while maximizing end-product profitability.

How to define visbreaking process?

Visbreaking is a mild form of thermal cracking, with primarily aim to lower the viscosity of vacuum residues. Two visbreaking processes are available: the coil or furnace type and the soaker type. In each process, viscosity control is necessary to adjust heating parameters and optimize distillation.
It is a liquid-phase thermal cracking process used to convert heavy or high viscosity petroleum stocks to lower viscosity fractions suitable for use in HFO. Visbreakers are now designed to maximize yield of valuable gas oil and other lighter ends used in fuel blending.

In our application datasheet, we explain in detail the 3 main objectives of visbreaking:
– Reduce the viscosity of the feed stream as much as possible without significantly affecting fuel stability
– Reduce the amount of residual fuel oil produced by refineries
– Increase the proportion of middle distillates in the refinery output

Viscosity measurement in visbreaking process

Inline viscosity measurement may be used in several steps during the visbreaking process to help preventing fouling and increase yield. Viscometers may help characterize the incoming feedstock for adjustment of heating parameters. Viscometers may also monitor the visbreaker outputs to ensure that sufficient fuel oil and light ends have been removed from the bottom residues.

Sofraser process viscometers and viscosity analyzers are suitable for petroleum industries and visbreaking process. Sofraser Thermoset viscosity at reference analyzer is maintenance-free, reliable precise and no additional installation is requested. Discover our product range and find the best match for your process

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Viscosity index: how to control viscosity of oils and lubricants?

Controlling the viscosity index (VI) of lubricants and hydraulic fluids is an essential step in many manufacturing processes of the petroleum industry. Viscosity and fluidity have a considerable influence on the quality of the end product.

Many industries use the properties of viscosity in their industrial processes and integrate them into their manufacturing standards.
When oil viscosity is mentioned, it is necessary to specify at what temperature it has been measured.
The viscosity index is a standardized quantity which takes into account the influence of temperature on the kinematic viscosity. The more this viscosity index is important, the less the viscosity is influenced by the temperature.

How to calculate viscosity index?

Its calculation method is described in ASTM D2270. The viscosity index is based on the viscosity measurement at 2 reference temperatures: 37.8°C (100°F) and 98.9°C (210°F). In the oil production process, measurement and calculation of the viscosity index is a real challenge because it is necessary to measure the viscosity of the oil at these two reference temperatures while the manufacturing process may be at a different temperature.

Measurement solutions at 2 reference temperatures:

The analyzers have clear advantages over process viscometers in measuring the viscosity at reference temperature of oils and lubricants. Indeed, the measurement is carried out at the actual reference temperature whatever the behavior of the process.

There are two types of analyzers:

  • Capillary analyzers:

Using a pump, they perform a dynamic viscosity measurement and therefore aren’t directly correlated to the D445 standard. Indeed, they require the use of an external density meter to calculate the kinematic viscosity. To determine the viscosity index, it is necessary to install two analyzers, one for each reference temperature.

  • The on-line analyzer based on the vibrating viscometer:

A single analyzer allows on-line measurement at 2 reference temperatures and the calculation of the viscosity index according to ASTM D 2270-04.

ATEX Zone 1, Sofraser Thermoset In-line analyzers provide all the guarantees of continuous viscosity index control.

The Thermoset KV is the only analyzer able to directly measure the kinematic viscosity with a single measuring probe and providing measurements in cSt.

The Thermoset LT is the simplest and most economical solution on the market, measuring dynamic or kinematic viscosity in cyclic mode (fluid’s sampling temperature being significantly higher than 40 and 100 °C). These solutions are robust, cost-effective and require almost no-maintenance while providing lasting satisfaction.

=> Discover Thermoset Range

thermoset kv for kinematic viscosity

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