Infrared Sensors for the Petrochemical Industry

Williamson Wavelength Technologies

Williamson provides infrared solutions for petrochemical refineries for smokeless flare monitoring, pilot monitoring, and sulfur recovery; available for both hazardous and non-hazardous environments.

Flare Monitor

Application Overview

Smokeless flares incinerate flammable hazardous vent gas with the assistance of supplemental high-velocity air or steam to prevent the formation of soot or smoke. Excessive injection of air or steam reduces combustion efficiency, resulting in the release of hazardous VOC gases. Meanwhile, inadequate injection of air or steam results in the formation of undesirable soot and smoke. Although modern flares are designed for high flow rates associated with an emergency condition, they most commonly operate at high-turn-down, low-flow rates, making it challenging for the flare to operate at optimal combustion efficiency.

Williamson Wavelength Advantage

The Williamson Flare Monitor (FM) utilizes proven dual-wavelength technology to monitor the ratio of carbon to available oxygen deep within the hot flare flame. This ratio value correlates to combustion efficiency and is used to adjust the flow of air or steam to smokeless flares, thus assuring smoke-free operation and maximum combustion efficiency.

Pyrometer Benefits
  • Assures smoke-free operation and maximum destruction of VOC gases
  • Used for Manual or Automatic feedback to control steam or air flow
  • May be grade-mounted for easy access
Wavelength Technology
  • Uninfluenced by flame size or position within the field of view
  • Uninfluenced by flame composition for all H-C gases
  • Unaffected by stack configuration or presence of steam

Pilot Monitoring

Application Overview

Flammable vent gases are ignited by a pilot flame when released into the atmosphere by refineries, natural gas processing plants, and petrochemical plants. The proper incineration of these gases is a critical safety and environmental concern. Therefore, it is essential to confirm that the pilot is lit at all times. Monitoring via a thermocouple is common, however, failures frequently occur and replacements can require costly process shutdowns. Remote sensing IR technology (PM) is the superior alternative.

Williamson Wavelength Advantage

The Williamson Pilot Monitor (PM) utilizes proven dual-wavelength technology to sense the presence of the small, distant pilot flame. This technology allows the pilot monitor to view clearly through severe weather conditions caused by fog, wind, rain, snow, and sleet.

Pyrometer Benefits
  • Self-regulating means no on-site calibration
  • May be grade-mounted for easy access
Wavelength Technology
  • 30% greater sensitivity means greater reliability
  • Includes Signal Dilution output for measurement validation and diagnostics
  • Large viewing area for easy alignment

Flame Intensity Monitoring

Application Overview

Williamson Flame Intensity Monitors (FI) are the single-wavelength sensors of choice for a variety of flare applications where the more sophisticated dual-wavelength flare products are not appropriate or are not required. Products specifically designated for flame intensity monitoring applications include:

  • Pilot Monitoring of Hydrogen, Ammonia or CO Flames
  • Pilot Monitoring of Ground Flares and Landfill Flares
  • Flame Intensity Monitoring
Williamson Wavelength Advantage

The Williamson Flame Intensity Monitor utilizes single-wavelength technology and thoughtful wavelength selection to sense the presence and intensity of flames of all types. The FI class sensors are ideal when viewing hydrogen, ammonia, CO and other flames and are also commonly used as pilot monitor for ground flares and landfill flares.

Pyrometer Benefits
  • May be grade-mounted for easy access
  • Adjustable sensitivity for optimal performance
Wavelength Technology
  • Thoughtful wavelength selection for maximum sensitivity
  • Increased sensitivity compared to UV flame detectors

Sulfur Recovery Unit

Application Overview

In a petrochemical refinery or natural gas processing plant, sulfur is extracted from the crude oil or natural gas product stream as amine gas, sour water stripper, sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid. The sulfur is then recovered in the sulfur plant using a thermal reactor called a Sulfur Recovery Unit (SRU), also known as a Claus reactor. Sulfur is recovered more efficiently at high temperatures that approach the operational limit of the refractory material, and variations in process and oxygen injection flow rates introduce variable process control demands. As a result, temperature control is critically important for operational effectiveness, reactor longevity, and human safety.

Download the Complete Set of Sulfur Recovery Application Notes

Download Application Notes (PDF)

Williamson Wavelength Advantage

The Williamson SRU class pyrometers are designed specifically for this demanding application and the fiber-optic configuration eliminates many of the common problems associated with other types of temperature measurement devices.

Pyrometer Benefits
  • Infrared technology avoids contact with corrosive gases
  • Compact fiber-optic configuration eliminates bulk and active cooling
  • Warm flange mounting reduces or eliminates sulfur deposition within the optical path
Wavelength Technology

Thoughtful wavelength selection assures temperature measurement of:

  • Only refractory wall temperature
  • Only gas temperature

Consult With One of Williamson’s Temperature Experts

We would love to discuss your temperature measurement application with you.

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