Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Vol.99, No.1, 401-409, 2021
Mid-infrared spectroscopy as a tool for real-time monitoring of ethanol absorption in glycols
Fast, simple, accurate, and inexpensive methods for obtaining analyte concentration data are desirable in the industrial sector. In the present study, the use of Fourier transform mid-infrared (FT-MIR) spectroscopy, combined with partial least squares (PLS) regression, was investigated as a tool for real-time monitoring of processes of ethanol absorption in glycols. Calibration was performed using simple synthetic samples containing ethanol, water, and monoethylene glycol (MEG) or diethylene glycol (DEG). The PLS models presented excellent performance, with correlation coefficients (R-2) close to unity and root-mean-square errors of cross-validation (RMSECV) and prediction (RMSEP) lower than 2% of the calibration data ranges for both analytes (ethanol and water) in both absorbents (MEG and DEG). The monitoring technique developed has potential to be applied in absorption processes and could also be used in other large-scale unit operations, providing information in real time and enhancing process control.