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|For consumers, the mouthfeel and foam of beer is as important as its taste. Monitoring and controlling dissolved carbon dioxide concentrations helps ensure consumers experience the sight and effervescence of your products the way you want them to. Consequently, typical applications for in-line CO2 measurement systems in breweries include carbonation control, and measurements in filling lines.|
CO2 measurement principles
The market for in-line CO2 measuring systems is dominated by sensors based on two measurement principles: pressure/temperature (p/T), and thermal conductivity (TC). These principles are well established in the brewery industry and are recommended by international committees for standardized beverage analysis. p/T-based sensors provide accurate measurements, but they contain moving parts for sample withdrawal/return and chamber expansion, that require regular servicing.
Advantages of thermal conductivity measurement
A major advantage of TC-based sensors is the complete avoidance of moving parts. The partial CO2 pressure level is acquired using a TC measurement chip that determines the thermal conductivity of the CO2 present in a chamber within the sensor.
Solution for purge gas and membrane issues
As good as TC-based CO2 sensors are, their performance relies on two main aspects: the reliability of the air purge supply they require for their operation, and the integrity of the CO2-permeable membrane that separates the TC chip from the beer. A drop in the supply of purge gas or deterioration of the membrane, results in inaccurate CO2 measurements. Operators will often not be able to distinguish between an actual change in the dissolved CO2 concentration in the beer, and a problem with the CO2 measurement system, and may erroneously adjust CO2 dosing. This compromises plant efficiency and can impact the quality of the beer. In addition, if the membrane fails and liquid comes into contact with the TC chip, costly servicing will be required. The new InPro 5500i sensor from METTLER TOLEDO has solved these problems.
Intelligent Sensor Management
The InPro 5500i dissolved CO2 sensor incorporates METTLER TOLEDO’s Intelligent Sensor Management (ISM) technology. The ISM concept simplifies sensor handling, enhances reliability, and reduces sensor lifecycle costs. ISM’s features include predictive diagnostics tools that constantly monitor a sensor’s condition. On the InPro 5500i these tools provide an immediate alarm should the purge gas supply or membrane integrity drop. This means corrective action can be taken before the situation deteriorates further. If the fault is not rectified quickly, the TC sensing element will even shut down to protect itself from damage.
Easy operation and more process uptime
With the InPro 5500i sensor, the unique combination of an industry-accepted measurement principle and the ISM concept leads to substantial benefits regarding simple operation and process uptime.