Editorial Article: Petrochemical QC expert shares top tips for success with their chemical processes

Zhao Wei, manager of the quality control division of Shenghong Petrochemical, shares insight into the key products which enable his lab's success

03 Nov 2021

The Arium Comfort I water dispenser by Sartorius
The Arium®  Comfort I 

Shenghong Petrochemical is playing a leading role in large-scale refining and chemical integration, having completed the Honggang Petrochemical 3.9 MMTPA (million metric tons per annum) PTA Project and the Sailboat Petrochemical 2.4 MMTPA Alcohol-based Poly-generation Project. At the center of this success is the quality control (QC) division, vital in ensuring the quality and purity of the company’s products. Here, Zhao Wei, who oversees the daily running of the QC laboratory and equipment procurement, discusses some of the challenges the lab faces and how Sartorius technology is helping the team meet the demands of the petrochemical industry. 

What challenges do you face in your work currently?

ZW: We have a heavy workload of routine weighing. To ensure accurate results, we must pay close attention to the balances’ status. This means we have to answer all these questions: Have the balances been calibrated on a regular basis? Are the balances leveled after being moved? Are the parameters and configurations modified with authorization? Are the data and results traceable and compliant? We also have some hazardous chemicals that need to be weighed in a glovebox.

 Another challenging aspect of our work is the need for pure water that is free of potential contaminants. We are also concerned about how this water is stored. In the past, we used to find that the quality of water would decrease sharply due to incomplete sterilization. We are also concerned about the life span of the consumables, as we must keep maintenance costs at a reasonable level. 

What Sartorius products do you use in your production workflow?

ZW: Pure and ultrapure water produced by the Arium® Comfort I is widely used for specimen and solution preparation, liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry analysis. The stable quality of the water it produces is the foundation of our experiments.

The display of the Sartorius Arium® Comfort I has a touch function, which allows simple navigation and is very easy to use. Optimized cartridge materials such as highly effective activated carbon coupled with a highly efficient ion-exchange resin deliver long-lasting performance and thereby ensure long maintenance intervals. The Top-Down-Flow technology produces ideal purification kinetics and prevents any mixing of cleaning media. The iJust features an innovative technology that optimizes the feedwater usage and the quality of the water produced. In addition, the Sartorius Arium® Comfort I comes with innovative bag technology: the pure water is stored in the enclosed Arium® Bagtank system, which guarantees optimal storage and protects the water against secondary contamination. Time-consuming tank cleaning intervals are also eliminated thanks to the interchangeable bag.

Discover robust analysis for bulk chemicals here >>

The Cubis II balance by Sartorius
The Cubis® II balance

We also use Cubis® II balance for routine weighing during solution preparation. These balances output reliable data and lay the groundwork for the subsequent analysis. Alongside the outstanding metrology features, the Cubis® balances contain some awesome additional functions. For example, the balance can automatically level itself and some of the balances can open and close the draft shield automatically via the inside motors. These features are convenient when we put the balances in the glovebox to weigh hazardous materials because it allows for safe handling of these samples from a distance. The balances also feature the isoCAL function, which means they will alert you whenever a defined interval has elapsed or a temperature limit has been exceeded. The balances will then perform fully automatic span adjustment using its internal weight. Other features, such as an integrated ionizer to eliminate interfering electrostatic charges, also decrease the risks associated with the weighing process. Additionally, the balances’ weighing results and calibration records can all be uploaded to our laboratory information systems without the need for additional software.

See how the Cubis II is designed for complete connectivity and compliance in this video >> 

What do you see for the future of your work?

ZW: For the future, I hope Shenghong can continue to manufacture quality products that all meet their specifications. I look forward to using more Sartorius products that offer stable performance, advanced technology, and are labor-saving to help us continue to meet the needs of the business.

Explore further weighing applications in chemical engineering >>

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