Technology Overview

Paradigm Sensors Technology Development

Paradigm Sensors technologists have extensive background in the application of IS sensing and analysis technologies (see References for a list of IS fluid condition monitoring patents in which the Paradigm Sensor team is named as inventors). Fluid condition monitoring applications pursued by the team to-date include:

  • Measurement of deterioration, contamination, and additive depletion in auto and truck engine lubricants,
  • Corrosion protection of auto and truck engine coolants,
  • Depletion and regeneration of aqueous resin beds (water softeners),
  • Deterioration of electronic solder paste,
  • Printability of electronic printing inks.

The applications of fluid condition monitoring to biodiesel composition and functional assessment in laboratory, field, and in-situ applications reviewed here will represent a natural extension of Paradigm Sensors IS technology.

FTIR Spectroscopy

While it is possible to use FTIR spectroscopy in field instruments and in-situ sensors, for these applications Paradigm Sensors uses a different form of spectroscopy that supports very simple and rugged sensors capable of providing a high degree of information about fluid composition and functionality.

FTIR Spectra

Impedance Spectroscopy

Impedance spectroscopy (IS) is an analysis technology generally analogous to infra-red spectroscopy.  For IS, an electrical current is passed through a sample and the voltage developed is measured (or, conversely, voltage is applied and current flow is measured).  As with other forms of spectroscopy, this is done over a range of frequencies, with the frequency response of the material providing information on sample composition and functionality.

Paradigm Sensors' products will incorporate proprietary IS sensing technology. Impedance Spectroscopy has two major advantages for biodiesel FCM field instrument and in-situ applications. Since IS relies on voltage and current measurements vs. optical measurements, very simple, rugged, and inexpensive sensing electrodes are used. While it is true that electrode shape and materials are critical to effective IS measurements, materials can be quite inexpensive and forms easily manufactured in high volumes.

IR Analyzer

Paradigm Sensors is capable of providing information on changes in fluid composition and functionality.  Depending on the frequency of measurement, IS can provide information about the bulk of the material, which tends to depend mostly on fluid composition, or about chemical reactions occurring at the sensor electrode surfaces, which is indicative of fluid functionality.

This second point is a key aspect to proprietary Paradigm Sensors technology.  One means of analyzing fluid functionality is through observation of types and rates of chemical reactions occurring at the interface between fluids and solids.  Electrode forms and materials for Paradigm Sensor products will be designed to selectively enhance reactions indicative of changes in key fluid functions as well as fluid composition.

The final element of Paradigm Sensors technology lies in analysis of IS data.  Analogous to FTIR, Paradigm Sensors products will utilize proprietary data mining algorithms to establish correlation curves between key IS parameters and biodiesel composition and functions.

For a summary of these correlations, please follow the link below.

Biodiesel Analysis Utilizing AC Small-Signal Impedance Spectroscopy