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Nanotechnology-Based Detection Method for Speciation and Differentiation of Phosphonate Scale Inhibitors

The accurate and precise analysis of scale inhibitors plays an important role in making key decisions on the efficiency of scale squeeze and continuous-chemical injection treatments.  At present, several techniques exist for scale inhibitor analysis, but each method has its own limitations and tedious analysis process. In addition, these methods often give results of either total chemical content or elemental analysis without details of chemical speciation.  Especially for phosphonate scale inhibitors, it is well known that there is no analytical methods available on the market to differentiate different species of phosphonate inhibitors, which impedes the applications of different types of phosphonate inhibitors on the scale treatment. There was therefore a need for a next-generation method for phosphonate analysis. An experimental methodology has been developed based upon the use of gold nanoparticles to enhance chemical signatures of scale inhibitors in brines using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS).  This methodology enables speciation and measurement at low concentrations in the range of 1 to 100 mg/L (ppm).  This study used two different phosphonate-type scale inhibitors, and initial laboratory results prove that this novel technology can help to differentiate between two different phosphonate-based chemicals. 

Product Number: 51320-14913-SG
Author: Sankaran Murugesan, Haiping Lu, Zhengwei Liu, Stephen Heath
Publication Date: 2020