In-situ Metrology for Complex Manufacturing Processes

Oil & Natural Gas
Food Safety

OVERVIEW

Integrated, Easy-to-Use Mass Spectrometers for Midstream Gas Metrology

The ASTON Platform is a compact, easy-to-use, in-situ metrology tool that delivers quantitative, sensitive gas analysis results in real-time for in-field midstream measurements.

Electron Ionization Source

High Performance Hyperbolic Quadrupole

Integrated Diaphragm and Turbomolecular Pumps

Integrated Control Electronics

Integrated Control Electronics

Oil and Natural Gas

The ASTON Platform enables in-situ mass spectroscopy for rapid, quantitative gas analysis for cost-effective transfer of custody.

Photo of Oil Rig

The NeedAnalysis of natural gas composition is a critical part of midstream gas management, from in-field wellhead gas analysis to a chain of custody, from extraction to blending, to delivery to end customers. The product value (i.e., BTUs) depends on the mix of hydrocarbons and contaminants. The challenge is to measure composition quickly and accurately at wellheads during production testing and at appropriate steps during a transfer of custody.

Historically, complex legacy gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) instruments have been used for analytical measurements for midstream natural gas management. GC/MS testing requires a skilled technician, complicated sample preparation, expensive carrier gasses and analysis can take 20-30 minutes. Fast, in-situ measurements in a lab environment are difficult without multiple instruments being deployed in parallel and nearly impossible on-site at the wellhead due to harsh environmental conditions or rugged terrain.

The Solution: Integration and SimplificationThe integrated compact ASTON Platform enables in-situ quantitative gas analysis that can be executed in a matter of seconds, with parts per billion sensitivity. Setup and test procedures are simple, so no technical training is needed. The ASTON Platform is less than one-third the size of legacy GC/MS instruments and is robust enough to transport to field testing sites without special handling or carrier-gas bottles.

Food Safety

Advanced Controlled Atmosphere Cold Storage

The ASTON Platform enables high-sensitivity gas analysis of multiple storage rooms, Dynamic Atmosphere Control or monitoring organic fruits and vegetables.

Photo of wear house for food storageu

The NeedControlled atmosphere (e.g., low oxygen) cold storage has been used for decades to slow the natural metabolism of fruits and vegetables and extend shelf life. Fungicides and preservatives may not be used for organic fruit and vegetables, which are in high demand from consumers and command premium pricing for suppliers. Therefore, organic produce is managed with dynamic cold storage conditions, with much lower oxygen levels and ozone as a fungicide. These conditions introduce the risk of stopping metabolism altogether, effectively killing the fruit. Oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and ethylene are monitored to optimize atmospheric storage conditions.

The Solution: Integration and SimplificationThe integrated ASTON solution delivers rapid, in-situ quantitative gas analysis of multiple storage rooms, without the expense of legacy gas chromatography/mass spectrometer instruments. Multiple samples can be analyzed in seconds, with sensitivity levels to parts per billion (PPB) levels without specialized technician support. Ultra-low oxygen levels along with ozone management can be set and controlled with higher sensitivity than conventional gas sensors, with the additional observability of volatile organic compounds at PPB levels. ASTON Impact is robust enough to use in storage facilities without the need of specialized handling, power, or carrier-gas bottles.