Optical spectroscopy is a proven technique for directly determining ingredients as main parameters in media and measuring their concentration. Hellma products can be used for as diverse applications as the product. Solids, liquids and gases can be measured in the spectral range from UV, Vis, NIR to IR as well as Raman and fluorescence. Applications can be found in numerous industries such as (petro-) chemistry, pharmacy, food and feed, biotech or energy. However, Hellma products go beyond the classical process industry. Even if the requirements exceed the ordinary, solutions from Hellma are a good choice. From the deep sea to outer space - we use our expertise to develop the perfect solution according to your requirements.
The word spectroscopy contains the stem of the word spectrum and refers in this context to the light spectrum. Human understanding of light is that it consists of electromagnetic radiation or waves. Electromagnetic waves are in turn divided into a spectrum according to their wavelength and structured on a scale.
People are familiar with "optical spectroscopy" from nature in the form of a rainbow, which displays a specific spectrum of light to the eye. Tiny raindrops in the air refract the sunlight and make a specific spectrum visible. This becomes possible by the interaction of light with molecules of matter, in this case with water, which then becomes visible to us humans in the 7 colors of the rainbow. The light spectrum, i.e. the wavelengths of light visible to humans, lies between 380 and 780 nanometers. There is also light with wavelengths below and above the range visible to humans.
The interaction of light with molecules of a material, i.e. substances and mixtures of substances, and the type of light emitted by the irradiation can provide clear conclusions about the composition, type and quantity of the medium or substance irradiated with light. In this way, non-contact and non-destructive analysis can be realized, which is the basis for the qualification and quantification of media and substances in analytical chemistry.
Essentially all organic molecules can be measured. They can be identified by spectroscopy and their concentration can be determined. A simple example would be the determination of a ripe and unripe tomato through its color. An unripe tomato is green and a ripe one is red - an overripe one may be deep red. In analytical practice, it is not so simple and obvious, and the differences can be minimal and imperceptible to the human eye.
Special measuring devices and instruments known as spectrometers or spectrophotometers, enable a very precise and unambiguous determination of the measured wavelength of the emitted light. Spectroscopy has its limits in the field of trace analysis, as not all variants of molecular spectroscopy can be used. Spectroscopy is unsuitable for metals and inorganic salts.
The irradiation of solids or the transmission of light of a defined wavelength through gases or liquids leads to interactions with the sample, as a result of which part of the excitation light is lost. Depending on the measuring principle, the spectrometer measures the light emitted or transmitted by the sample. The light signals received are unique for each substance and therefore allow conclusions to be drawn about its type and composition. Gases and liquids can be measured with a cuvette, measurement cell or probe, whereby the light penetrates the substance or sample. In the case of solids, the light is reflected at the surface and then captured. This type of measurement of a sample contains a lot of information about the physical and molecular structure of the sample, which is used with statistical evaluation methods to break down the sample composition. Very common and proven measuring ranges, which can be used to identify many media and substances (chemometrics), are in the UV, Vis, NIR and MIR wavelength ranges.
• Spectroscopic methods are faster and more efficient than many other analytical methods. Compared to wet chemical analysis, for example, spectroscopy offers a considerable time advantage. The measurement is also non-destructive and can in some cases be carried out at a distance from the analysis medium. Further advantages are:
• no sample preparation
• ideal for heterogeneous material
• no waste, no chemicals
• high sample throughput
• real-time analysis
• usage in explosion-proof areas
The benefits of molecular spectroscopy, especially as inline or online measurement, are manifold and usually amortize the investment costs within a fairly short time. The main benefits are as follows:
• improved production efficiency
• effective and fast quality control
• greater output quantity
• higher product quality
• high time savings
• reduced energy consumption
• fewer rejects
• optimized process control
• greater process transparency
• simple analysis of reaction processes
• more process reliability
Molecular spectroscopy can be used in many areas and provide benefits across all industries. The main industries that have been using spectroscopy successfully for many years are the following:
• luxury foods
Molecular spectroscopy is a measurement technology that has been tried and tested for over 100 years and has been continuously developed and refined since its invention. Depending on the complexity, task and measurement location, very short-term benefits can be achieved. In the field of inline and online measurements of process analytical technology, ROI calculations have been published that show amortization within 6 months to 2 years. Read more on this page and contact us if you are interested: www.hellma.com/en/process-analytical-solutions/return-on-investment-and-best-cases/
Production of Active Ingredients
Analysis of Edible Oil
Identification of Liquid Gas
Determination of Fruit Content
Analysis of Food Colorant
Measurement of Coffeine
Agricultural and Soil Analysis
Analysis of Fermentation Processes
Fuel and Lubricant Analysis
Polymere and Plastic Analysis
Hellma products head to outer space. In the spring of 2008, a quartz-glass protein-crystallization reactor was deployed to the Columbus European Space Laboratory for the study of protein crystallization under weightlessness. It was brought to the International Space Station (ISS) on the 24th flight of the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis. The results from these extraterrestrial experiments will help to develop efficient active substances to fight diseases back on earth.
For the most recent spaceflight in October 2018, part of the ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission to Mercury, Hellma Materials optical crystals specialists provided a 3-inch cerium-bromide (CeBr3) scintillation crystal. It works in the gamma-ray and neutron spectrometer and is essential for planetary remote sensing.
The deep sea is an inhospitable place with no light and high pressure. But even in this environment Hellma products can provide a valuable service, for industries such as the oil production at sea. The measurement of water in petroleum effectively supports the quality control and makes it easier to comply with environmental requirements.
Only high-quality products can stand up to these extreme conditions and so the products are often developed especially for this purpose. The expertise gained in these projects continuously enters into the further development of the Hellma product range so that eventually all Hellma customers will benefit from those projects.
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