U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Advanced Manufacturing Office
Sensor Expected To Save As Much Energy As Is Used By A Small City
April 10, 2006
Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) has completed a laboratory demonstration of a major advance to improve ethylene production energy efficiency. Ethylene, one of the most energy intensive of all chemicals to produce, is used in the manufacture of plastics, paints and adhesives. Because of its exceptionally wide tuning range, the innovative PSI mid-infrared laser spectrometer reduces the time to make a measurement of key process end-products to a few seconds. This allows continuous optimization of process conditions, increasing overall efficiency. If implemented in 200 U.S. ethylene plants, the estimated energy savings would be five trillion BTU/year, equivalent to the electricity used by a city of 100,000.