The demand for instruments that measure organic chemicals quickly and accurately has increased dramatically in recent years. Industries such as biotech including biopharma and biofuels, oil and gas waste water treatment, food and beverage production, and environmental remediation all require precise measurements of organic chemicals in water and aqueous solutions. To meet that need, OptiEnz Sensors has developed a simple, low-cost system that produces immediate and accurate results.
Traditional Sampling Methods
Today, identifying organic chemicals in water requires trained personnel to collect physical samples, perform chemical pretreatment, document the chain of custody, and process the sample through a chromatograph to produce a single measurement. In many cases samples are shipped to external laboratories for analysis, with results returned days or weeks later—making it impossible to implement real-time process monitoring. Chromatography yields accurate results, however it is a complex, time-intensive effort that requires expensive equipment and highly skilled labor. OptiEnz provides real-time results with the accuracy of laboratory equipment.
Technology that Sets Us Apart
OptiEnz provides continuous, in-place measurements without requiring sample pretreatment. The biosensors consist of a small optical transceiver connected to consumable sensor tips via a fiber optic cable. Bioengineered enzymes and a fluorescent chemical (fluorophore) are placed on the tip of an optical fiber. As these enzymes react with different organic chemicals in the water, a chemical reaction occurs on the tip of the sensor, changing the characteristics of the light emitted by the fluorophore. These changes are detected by the optical transceiver, where the data readings are then converted to direct, quantitative measurements of chemical concentrations.
OptiEnz has a variety of sensor tips designed to measure a wide range of specific organic chemicals, including alcohols, sugars, hydrocarbons, and solvents. To measure different chemicals, you simply change the sensor tip. Because the sensor tips are placed directly in the water — in a pipe, tank, vessel, or a bioreactor — the measurements are taken from precisely where the water needs to be sampled — at the source.