Electron Machine Attends 2018 Fall BLRBAC Meeting

Electron Machine
C.A. Vossberg and Jack Wilburn of Electron Machine exhibiting at
BLRBAC 2018 Fall Meeting

The BLRBAC Fall Meeting was held in in Atlanta this past October and Electron Machine was pleased to attend and exhibit.

The BLRBAC is a  trade association that exists for the purpose of sharing knowledge, drafting guidelines, and maintaining those guidelines to help facilitate the safe and reliable operation of Black Liquor Recovery Boilers.

The sodium sulfate or kraft pulping process is used to produce pulp for the production of paper.  Black Liquor Recovery Boilers reclaim the spent combustible pulping chemicals in black liquor and create steam. If not for the advent of the black liquor recovery boiler (BLRB), this pulping process would not be economically viable.

BLRBAC’s objective is to promote improved safety of chemical recovery boilers and their auxiliaries through the interchange of technical knowledge, experience, and data on past and any future recovery boiler incidents.

Electron Machine has been an active member of the BLRBAC for over five decades and supports the very valuable work the BLRBAC does to improve safety, operation and efficiency of chemical recovery boilers.


The Preferred Inline Process Refractometer When Safety and Quality Are on the Line


Electron Machine inline process refractometers provide safe, reliable, and accurate process measurement for thousands of customers in the pulp and paper industry, food and beverage industry, and chemical industries. Known for their ruggedly designed instruments, Electron Machine refractometers provide accurate and repeatable measurement of Refractive Index, Dissolved Solids, and Degrees Brix. They also distinguish themselves from competitors by providing fast response to customers needs after the sale. For applications where accuracy and reliability are critical to safety and quality, there really is only once choice - Electron Machine.

Inline Process Refractometer Application Engineering Data: Heavy Black Liquor

Heavy Black Liquor RI vs. Concentration

Refractometers are used in the recovery boiler area to measure heavy black liquor solids in the range of 50-80%. When used to monitor liquor solids to the spray nozzles they become so critical that the recovery boiler will not be operated without them.

As quoted from the Black Liquor Recovery Boiler Advisory Committee, “Refractometers have proven to be effective for black liquor recovery boiler service.” Refractometers are a critical component of the black liquor safe firing system.

Monitoring the recovery boiler firing liquor concentration requires two refractometers in a redundant and specially supervised system. A “Monitor Divert System” employs supervisory circuitry to oversee the correct operation of the refractometer and perform certain logic functions if it detects a failure. The most important of these is the automatic
diversion of the liquor from the furnace into a recirculation loop until the problems can be resolved.

Refractometers used elsewhere in this area include measuring the concentration of the heavy black liquor from storage as it enters the recovery area. They are also used extensively around the cascade or cyclone evaporators to monitor the performance of the direct contact evaporation system. When refractometers are used in the recovery area, the process can be tuned to operate efficiently and most importantly, more safely.

Inline process refractometer on black liquor service
Inline process refractometer on black liquor service.

Throwback Thursday - 1972 "Instrumentation Study - Black Liquor Solids Content" by the The Institute of Paper Chemistry

For all you Pulp & Paper historians out there, here's an "oldie but goodie" from the Electron Machine archives.

In 1972 The Institute of Paper Chemistry wrote a paper titled "Instrumentation Study - Black Liquor Solids Content" detailing a comparison between an Electron Machine Corporation refractometer and an NUS Corporation sonic velocimeter and their respective capability of measuring black liquor solids. Below is the document to view online, or you can download your own copy here.

8 Reasons to Partner with Electron Machine Corporation

  1. Our History - We designed & patented the 1st process refractometer in 1957.
  2. Our Quality - We maintain the highest certification levels and standards.
  3. We Solve Problems - Innovative designs that perform far beyond expectations.
  4. Our Experience - 60+ years successfully applying process refractometers.
  5. Our People - Professional, knowledgeable, courteous, enthusiastic.
  6. Our Leadership - Committed, strategic and transformational.
  7. We're Community Involved - Supporting local colleges, businesses and organizations.
  8. We're Environmentally Friendly - Doing our part with renewables for a greener tomorrow.

What Is An Inline Process Refractometer?

Inline sensing head
Inline sensing head
Inline process refractometers are used in the food processing, beverage, pulp and paper processing, chemical, power, and primary metal industries. Inline process refractometers save labor costs, streamline the manufacturing process, and improve quality by detecting inconsistencies in a product early in the production phase. They continuously monitor, control and report the on Degrees Brix, Percent Solids, Dissolved Solids, SGU, and refractive index of a brand variety of solutions.

Inline process refractometers are made up of three main components:
Control console
Control console
  1. The inline sensing head, which is inserted to a pipe and is exposed the the product for direct measurement. The sensor is connected by a cable to the second main component, the control console.
  2. The control console, which houses the display, electronics, power supply and output connections. Both the sensor and the control module are designed for high accuracy and precise control. Their housing and cabling are often specialized for use in varying extreme conditions and very demanding environments.
  3. The process adapter, which connects the sensor mechanically to the process piping. Adapters are configured for the pipe size and application they are used on and are available in many configurations. Some of the more common adapter options are:
    • Lined - For extremely corrosive applications.
      Mounting adapters
      Mounting adapters
    • Inline - For most applications with pipeline sizes less than 2”.
    • Isolation - For critical process lines that cannot normally be shut down.
    • Sanitary - For applications on a sanitary pipeline.
    • Spool - For most applications with pipeline sizes greater than 2”.
    • Vessel - For applications where the sensing head is to be mounted directly onto a vessel or vacuum pan.
    • Weld-in - For economical mounting.