Raman Spectroscopy Apparatus and Method for Continuous Chemical Analysis of Fluid Streams

The present invention provides apparatus and methods for analyzing the chemical composition of fluid streams using Raman spectroscopy. The apparatus includes a laser source for producing light having an excitation wavelength. The light is introduced into a bundle of optical fibers connected to a tubular Raman enhancement cell. A transparent optical element (lens and/or window) acts as a barrier element to isolate the flowing sample stream from the optical components. The Raman enhancement cell is configured to allow continuous sample fluid flow therethrough, and it is preferably lined with a material having an index of refraction less than the index of refraction of the fluid stream. A commercially available charge coupled device converts the optical signal into a corresponding electronic signal to be analyzed by a computer and converted into a representation of the chemical analysis of the fluid stream.

During the manufacture of various grades of gasoline from crude petroleum, it is vital to monitor the final product to make sure it possesses the desired physical properties. Unlike the conventionally performed techniques by which periodic samples have to be taken from the process stream and analyzed, this invention provides a quick and inexpensive system for continuously monitoring a gasoline fuel composition. In addition, this technique can be applied to analyze aqueous streams or biological samples.

Stage of Development
A patent (US 5,751,415) has been issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
This technology is available for licensing under either exclusive or non-exclusive terms.

Additional Info

Inventor(s): Carl Johnson, Joel Harris, Richard Rallison, Lee Smith, Robert Benner, Douglas Christensen

Type of Offer: Licensing

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