Hydrogen: is the first, simplest and lightest element of the periodic table of elements. Hydrogen consists of one proton (H+) and one electron. Chemical substances that release a lot of H + in a solution are acids. And the acidity of something is determined by the pH of the solution.
The measurement of pH in industrial processes and water treatment is one of the commonest in-line analyses or measurements. Many processes only run well with a well-defined pH value. The acidity of a product is very often a quality parameter. Just think of the food industry or our wastewater that has to meet environmental standards. For example, the water may not be too acidic or too alkaline. You see, pH measurement is important.
pH measurement is one of the commonest and oldest in-line measurements in the industry. However, because it’s used often doesn’t mean that pH measurement is simple. ELSCOLAB has a large number of pH electrodes and measuring systems so that we can meet all possible process conditions: high temperatures, high pressures, aggressive media, polluting environment, sterile conditions, etc. There’s a solution for everything! Through to fully automated systems that clean and even calibrate the electrode at set time periods. But sometimes it can also be easy using a simple transmitter and plastic protection around the electrode.
Intelligence on board
Since the discovery of the glass electrode to measure pH, at the beginning of the last century, pH measurement systems have undergone a complete metamorphosis. From the classic individual pH and reference electrodes over combined electrodes, with or without a built-in temperature sensor, to the current digital and even intelligent electrodes.
Using intelligence in the electrode, it is possible to pre-calibrate electrodes in the workplace or in the laboratory. It doesn’t just stop there. Using the accompanying measuring transducer (a transmitter or smartphone via BlueTooth) you can keep track of the extent to which the electrode has become worn, how long it can still be used, when maintenance is appropriate, how long it has been in use and how many cleaning, sterilization or autoclaves cycles the electrode has already undergone. The accompanying PC software allows you to build up an entire database of all your pH measurement points with the complete history, including calibration and maintenance.
The time that measured values were only read on a screen or registered on a recorder with paper rolls is far behind us. Even the mA analogue signals are fading away into the background. Today everything is going digital: Foundation Fieldbus, ProfiNet, ModBus, Ethernet, 4G. This digitization opens up perspectives including remote troubleshooting, predictive maintenance and early warning systems.
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