Metrohm Process Analytics: Pioneers in Process Analysis

We installed our first online process analyzer back in 1978 at Dow Chemical.

Since then we have come a long way and installed more than 10,000 units worldwide.

And since day one, we never shied away from a challenge: We have installed customized process analyzers in the desert, on boats, and in dangerous environments, always focusing on understanding the needs of the customers and being close to them.

Read more about our story below.

We love customers who challenge us – Your challenges are our success stories

> An explosion-proof analyzer?

> On-site support in the desert?

> Your analyzer ... on a boat?

Monitoring low-level moisture in propylene oxide in real-time


Our customer is considered one of the largest chemical manufacturers in the world and is a long-time user of Metrohm process analyzers. The existing relationship with this company for both Metrohm laboratory instrumentation as well as our line of process analyzers meant they knew exactly who to turn to with quite a challenging application request: Metrohm Process Analytics. Among the myriad products they produce globally is propylene oxide (C3H6O, PO), a highly hazardous, hygroscopic, and flammable substance used in the production of various important chemicals.


One of the main issues in the PO production is to keep moisture content to a low level to avoid side reactions. Our customer came to us with an immense challenge which no other vendor could approach: reliable measurement of low moisture level in PO. Their previous system of measuring moisture relied upon a set of FT-IR analyzers, which required much maintenance and subsequently leading to a lot of downtime. The hazardous and hygroscopic nature of PO necessitates online analysis for the most precise measurement of moisture content and short response times. Performing laboratory analysis is slow and requires difficult sample treatment for accurate results. The low moisture levels present in PO need "real-time" monitoring, due to the high production throughput which necessitates short response times in case of process variations.


Considering the hazardous, flammable properties of PO, a robust explosion-proof (ATEX) process instrument was offered by Metrohm Process Analytics to fulfill the customer requirements. The NIRS XDS has a build-in ATEX housing and it can measure up to 9 independent sampling points. The measurements were made online thanks to an industrial grade flow cell, which allows to precisely monitor low levels of moisture (a few tens of ppm at a precision of ±4 ppm). Results are communicated in real-time (every 30 seconds) through 4-20 mA to customer PLC.

After performing a feasibility study with our instrument at the customer’s laboratory, a direct comparison was made between the results from IR and NIR in the process environment. The signal to noise ratio (S/N) for our NIRS instrumentation is much better than their previous IR, which is an added benefit for such low-level moisture determination. Metrohm also provides Karl Fischer titration as a reference analysis to ensure the spectroscopic results are accurate. Customer laboratory practice was also improved with valuable input given by Metrohm titration experts. This industrial process analyzer is now monitoring several different sampling points from the distillation tower to the final product (finisher).


Our customer had a really challenging problem and now they can safely monitor in real-time the low water content in PO. The combination of a single, explosion-proof online process analyzer enables the end-user to reduce chemical treatment, improve product quality, and increase profits.

Bromine manufacturer in the desert


Our customer, located remotely in the desert, is a major producer of bromine, flame retardant chemicals and other brominated products, as well as caustic potash. The manufacture of these chemicals is a highly dangerous operation requiring adherence to extreme safety measures and constant monitoring of key process parameters. Without the proper process data provided in a timely manner, production cannot be controlled, and thus this is a mandatory requirement for their production facility to operate efficiently.


Their current process analyzer was overdue for repair and in fact was no longer offered on the market. This system is used for process control through chemical adjustment and optimization in the production of bromine, which is a corrosive and toxic matrix. This process is carried out in a hazardous zone which requires a robust, explosion-proof solution, with short analysis times to provide enough accurate data to monitor any process changes. A support network was needed – not just to provide local service in the middle of the desert, but also to give a series of trainings (both at Metrohm facilities and on-site at the customer).


Metrohm Process Analytics developed a special version inline process analyzer for this customer, expanding the measurement capabilities far beyond the rest of the offerings available on the market. Requirements for industrial analysis such as robust inline probes to protect against the highly corrosive matrix as well as an explosion-proof (ATEX) housing were also integrated into this challenging process monitoring solution. Local support and trainings from Metrohm sales organizations were given top priority in this remote location to ensure both proper operation in a dangerous process environment and understanding of the data provided by the inline process analyzer.


Our customer can now safely control the production of bromine via inline process monitoring using a turn-key solution developed specially by Metrohm Process Analytics for their challenging needs. Inline measurements taken with a remotely-controlled explosion proof instrument makes the working environment safer for everyone – no handling of chemicals, and quicker (real-time) results in case any production issues arise, which means less downtime. From the customized process analyzer to application method development and even on-site trainings by our experts, we are your partner for any challenge.

Fish delousing process on an active boat


Our customer, who is a major global player in the chemical industry, has a long-standing relationship with Metrohm Process Analytics and knows who to trust for their challenging non-traditional application requests. In this situation, they needed to find a robust solution to accurately measure a medication which treats fish for lice (delousing agent) in a seawater bath on an actively working boat. Simple.


Ensuring correct dosage of the medication as well as monitoring the water quality and waste is essential for compliance with government standards. Fish are introduced to seawater baths containing precise amounts of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) medication for short periods of time for delousing. This removes any attached parasites, which can then be filtered from the water. Underdosing the bath would leave parasites still attached to the fish, resulting in a low quality product or even leading to death of the animal. However, overdosing can cause oxidative stress in the fish, the bleaching of skin/scales, and death as well. Therefore, a quick analysis and response time is needed for accurate treatment.

The fact that this analysis must be carried out on an active boat in remote areas meant that our online process analyzer must be rugged enough to withstand everyday usage with unstable footing and rocking, swaying motions. The limited space on board meant that a small footprint was absolutely necessary. Process control in this situation can mean the difference between life and death of the animals.


A rugged solution, custom-fitted for fast analysis on the ship was proposed to this customer by Metrohm Process Analytics – certainly not a typical industrial application nor location! Furthermore, our team of expert chemists were able to develop an online analysis method now reduced to merely 60 seconds between measurements.  


Currently our customer is able to save more money through several improvements: less medication used due to more accurate dosing, less product loss from inaccurate medication, and overall improved practices owing to the fast analysis times we provide. Our long-standing relationship with this customer allowed us to present a custom-built solution that any other vendor would say no to. From industrial analysis to remote process monitoring, we offer an integrated process solution, not just an analyzer.

Download the Applications Book

Learn more about our scope of expertise: from ammonia in saturated brine and fertilizers to zinc mining and purification – we've done it all.

Our Applications Book gives a broad overview of applications sold in the past 40+ years to the process industry. With more than 10,000 process analyzers installed globally, you can be sure to find a solution to your challenge inside.

Click here to download the Applications Book


Our customers' voices

"We found the Metrohm NIRS XDS to be extremely robust and reliable. Maintenance is no issue. Production has been improved significantly. The technical support from Metrohm was outstanding. Developing the necessary models was done quickly!"

Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Christoph Kleimeier, PAT, Dow Chemical, Stade, Germany

We're here for you, around the clock, around the globe

From your first contact with a sales engineer to consultation sessions and emergency services, Metrohm Process Analytics is there for you. Metrohm is present in over 50 countries worldwide and is thus able to provide on-site service and training in the shortest time possible in your local language.

Experience you can trust

More than 10,000 units installed and commissioned worldwide are a testament to our expertise. Our solutions for process control and process monitoring are trusted by leading companies from all industries, e.g.:
  • Petrochemistry
  • Chemicals
  • Semiconductors
  • Food and beverages
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Surface finishing
  • Power / energy
  • Mineral extraction
  • Wastewater treatment

And what is your challenge?

We'd love to help you solve your analytical challenges. Let us know and we'll get in touch.