Fluid Monitoring Applications

Fluid monitoring often requires sampling of solutions for analysis at a later time.  This results in a loss of both time and money whilst the results of tests are pending.

In situations where the freezing of fluids needs to be avoided the lack of available monitoring can result in the need for excessive energy consumption through the constant use of heaters.

Microwave cavity resonators offer excellent sensitivity and have a range of potential applications in fluid monitoring through detection of change in dielectric properties of samples entering them.  This type of sensor offers the ability to conduct both static and dynamic in-line monitoring.

The Oxford Invention

The Oxford invention is the subject of a granted patent which provides active cavity sensors with the ability to monitor fluid samples and their condition in-situ and in real-time with very high sensitivity (two order of magnitude increase in sensitivity) compared with passive devices. The sensors can be made from a range of materials allowing for suitability in working with a variety of fluid samples and offer low production cost. These self-exciting microwave cavity sensors may be fixed or tuneable to the application required.

Examples of applications which can benefit from the Oxford invention are:

  • Detecting condensation, ice and cryogens. For example, the detection of icing conditions / icing of aircraft, thereby reducing the use of fuel consuming heating systems.
  • Detecting weak magnetic and non-magnetic contamination. This could include applications such as the detection of moisture build-up in engine oil or brake fluid. Or wear-and-tear detection through measure of contaminating magnetic particulates.
  • Monitoring chemical reaction processes. In-process reaction monitoring through study of changes in dielectric constant without the need to remove samples. The sensor could also be applied to analytical chemistry flow cell detector systems.
  • Detection of magnetic nanoparticles. For applications such as in-vitro diagnostics.

 

Readiness for market

A granted patent exists in Europe and the USA.  Oxford University Innovation would be keen to talk to companies interested in developing commercial opportunities for this technology. The technology readiness level is 2-3. Application engineering expertise is available to support the exploitation of the invention and to productise the technology with chosen industrial partners.

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