TDL Analyzers for a Refinery FCCU

A Sarnia area refinery was looking to replace their existing extractive IR CO/CO2 and paramagnetic O2 analyzers with sample systems on the FCCU. Novatech provided a proposal based on similar technologies, but also decided to think outside the box and include tuneable diode laser analyzers – at the time an emerging technology – as a proposed solution for this application.

The FCCU flue gas is emitted at high temperatures and contains high particulate content. The previous extractive system was very high maintenance due to plugging and corrosion issues. Additionally, the analysis of flue gases provided an impressive financial return for the refinery, making their reliability and uptime extremely important. The TDL analyzers were installed in-situ, eliminating any sample extraction issues as well as the associated maintenance.


Our team faced a number of challenges over the course of this project, notably due to the application specific requirements of high temperature and dust loading.

  • Very high particulate loading from catalyst dust created plugged sample lines and the need to send technicians in to the field on a frequent basis.
  • Previous sample systems used a reflux sample system design, resulting in corrosion of the process piping connections.
  • High system uptime is required to maximize the financial payback from this analysis.


To ensure that our proposed technology would satisfy the refinery requirements, our team:

  • Organized visits of existing TDL analyzer installation sites for a client to validate the analyzer’s performance under harsh conditions.
  • Provided a redundant CO analyzer to ensure the highest possible operational uptime.
  • Given that this was the first FCCU installation in the world, we offered the client a 90-day evaluation period to ensure they were fully satisfied with how the system operated.
  • Our local service technician ensured a smooth start-up and provides onsite assistance and trouble shooting


The installation of these in-situ TDL analyzers far exceeded our expectations. The main requirements for selecting these analyzers were to increase reliability and reduce maintenance costs & efforts. Once installed, the analyzers more than met these requirements with maintenance costs & efforts being reduced to almost zero and reliability (on-line time) being raised to almost 100%, while also providing increased analysis accuracy and stability.”

– S. Whitney,
P.Eng, Analyzers,
SW ON Refinery


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