Cost effective ultrasonic level measurement of Sulfuric acid case study


Cost effective level measurement solution provided by MicroScan in one of Luxembourg Industries' Sulfuric acid tank.

Luxembourg Industries, located in Israel, manufacture diverse list of products to customers in the agricultural, biotechnology, chemical, pharmaceutical and other industries. Among their products are branded crop protection products, diverse crop protection chemicals, industrial and specialty chemicals and a number of reagents for peptide synthesis. As part of the on going efforts to improve its production facilities, the company sought an ultrasonic level measurement solution for one of its Sulfuric acid tanks.

The problems

Sulfuric acid (H204S) is a clear, colorless, oily, and odorless liquid. It is very corrosive and at some points can be also explosive. The company uses this acid for its chemicals production and usually stores it in cylindrical tanks located above ground. There are a few problems that may occur while trying to measure the level of Sulfuric acid using an ultrasonic level gauge.

The corrosive environment inside the tank may be harmful to the ultrasonic sensor and affect its functionality in the long run.

In addition, the tank's cylindrical shape may cause the ultrasonic beam to lose its target during the reading process, resulting in an echo loss.

The plant is located in the south part of Israel, which is characterized by dry and hot climate during day time and cold climate during night time. Since the Sulfuric acid tank is situated outside, the ultrasonic level gauge is exposed to temperature differences in the tank environment. These temperature changes often cause liquid condensation on the sensor surface, which might affect the accuracy of the measurement results.

The solution

The Luxembourg plant decided to install a MicroScan unit on one of its Sulfuric acid tanks. MicroScan is an ultrasonic level gauge with a hand held controller for easy set-up and configuration. The unit was located on an extension pipe on the tank's top, measuring a tank of 3m (9.8 ft) high. Due to its mono-block design, MicroScan provided a hassle free installation and short run time. The MicroScan's sensor is ECTFE coated which enables it to successfully cope with the corrosive environment inside the tank and to provide accurate measurement results continuously. These measurement results are displayed on the plant's control desk via 4-20mA. The MicroScan is equipped with a sophisticated software algorithm that compensates for the cylindrical shape of the tank, thus preventing loss of echo. Moreover, MicroScan's sensor has a built in temperature sensor which compensates for the temperature difference in the tank between day and night time.


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