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Optical sensor development for on line bubble monitoring in chemical industry pipelines


For safety reasons relevance in chemical industries, the present work is concerned with developing and experimentally testing of optical sensors for bubble detecting in industrial pipelines. The sensors assembly will be carried out at the Automation and Process Control Laboratory at the School of Chemical Engineering. A laser will be employed as the emitter source since it is a narrow beam of concentrated light. The optical barrier system proposed is a non-intrusive device. A prototype has already been assembled and it is composed of just one laser emitter and one photosensor. This prototype will be enhanced in order to allow on line measurements of bubble velocity and counting via software. At least four emitters and four phototransistors will be used. On line monitoring will be performed through the local area network which is coupled to a Fieldbus bridge communication system (already installed in the laboratory). A computational program will be developed. The automatic bubble counting will be compared to manual counting to determine errors and constrictions of the new optical system. This project will give the team the opportunity of learning new skills in the chemical process automation research area. (AU)

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