Characterization of Coriolis measurement technology
Coriolis technology can flow fluids ranging from only hundredths of a gram per hour up to several million kilograms per hour. On the low end, a Coriolis device may be so small that it can fit in the palm of your hand. At higher flows, they may be as large as a washing machine! Alicat’s CODA meters and controllers are compact Coriolis instruments, usable for flows ranging from 0.08 g/h to 300 kg/h.
In this article, we discuss applications that benefit from compact Coriolis devices as well as a couple cases requiring larger instruments.
Accuracy and repeatability
The high accuracy and repeatability of Coriolis technology makes it ideal for dosing and custody transfer applications. Small volume dosing applications benefit from the compact CODA Coriolis devices. Custody transfer applications tend to require flows of thousands of liters of liquid, requiring larger equipment.
Fragrance and dye dosing
The manufacture of certain consumer cleaning products requires the addition of highly concentrated dyes and fragrances to a bulk base solution. It is imperative that specific quantities of these additives are incorporated to maintain a consistent look and scent for the end user and to minimize wasted batches. Compact CODA Coriolis devices are ideal for dispensing these low volumes of concentrated liquids.
In the chemical and petroleum industries, a railcar may be used to transport as much as 114,000 liters of crude oil to an end user company. A Coriolis meter can be used to precisely measure the amount of fluid transferred to ensure correct billing. The compact size and flow limits of CODA instruments exclude them from these large custody transfer applications.
Coriolis technology is available for process pressures ranging from around 1 bar to 1000 bar. A variety of component materials are available to accommodate the highest pressure ranges, including high nickel alloys and tungsten. CODA instruments can operate in pressure ranges from ~1 bar up to 276 bar, depending on the fluid.
One hydrogen fuel cell may require the flow of both DI water at pressures as low as 3-4 bar and H2 at pressures in excess of 100 bar. The wide pressure range of a CODA Coriolis device means one device can be used for the flow of either of these fluids. An extra benefit of Coriolis technology is that there is no need to recalibrate the instrument when switching between the two fluids. This flexibility makes it easier to keep systems up and running.
Supercritical fluids like sCO2 often exist at pressures in excess of 100 bar. Because CODA devices can be used up to 276 bar, they are usable in these harsh supercritical conditions.
Flow meters and controllers based on the Coriolis operating principle are unique in their ability to measure mass flow directly, with no dependence on fluid properties. This means they can be used to calculate mass flow for fluids with unknown or changing composition.
Non-Newtonian fluids change viscosity under stress, making it challenging for some flow technologies to properly measure and control their flows. Coriolis instruments are capable of flowing certain non-Newtonian fluids. CODA instruments, for example, have been used to flow urea in diesel exhaust fluid research and development.
Bioreactors and fermentation processes
A non-Coriolis mass flow controller can be used to introduce gases like O2, N2, CO2, and air into a bioreactor. Measuring the resulting fluid streams can be a bit more challenging as the exact chemical composition may be unknown. Coriolis technology is able to provide an accurate mass flow rate in this case.
Coriolis technology can also be used in fermentation processes to develop alternative fuels of varying composition, optimize fuel efficiency, and maximize reactor yield.