Raman spectrometers are devices which enable fast and non-contact identification of examined chemicals. These devices utilize the Raman phenomenon to identify unknown and often illicit chemicals (e.g. drugs, explosives) without the necessity of their preparation. Now, Raman devices can be portable and therefore can be more widely used to improve security at public places. Unfortunately, Raman spectra measurements is a challenge due to noise and interferences present outside the laboratories. The design of a portable Raman spectrometer developed at the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics, Gdansk University of Technology is presented. The paper outlines sources of interferences present in Raman spectra measurements and signal processing techniques required to reduce their influence (e.g. background removal, spectra smoothing). Finally, the selected algorithms for automated chemicals classification are presented. The algorithms compare the measured Raman spectra with a reference spectra library to identify the sample. Detection efficiency of these algorithms is discussed and directions of further research are outlined.
In this work the esterification of diethyl tartrate was studied. The research was focused on the enhancement of reversible reaction yield, which is accomplished by dewatering of the reaction mixture. The removal of water shifts the equilibrium towards the main product. Pervaporation was applied for this purpose, and results were compared to distillation. The advantages and limitations of both processes are discussed. The experimental part consists of dewatering of mixture after the reaction had reached the equilibrium, and was subsequently fed to the test rig equipped with a single zeolite membrane purchased from Pervatech B.V. Results show a significant conversion increase as a result of water removal by pervaporation. Compared to distillation no addition of organics is necessary to efficiently remove water above the azeotrope. Nevertheless, some limitations and issues which call for optimisation are pointed out. A simple numerical model is proposed to support design and sizing of the pervaporation system. Various modes of integrated system operation are also briefly discussed.
Optical low-coherence interferometry is one of the most rapidly advancing measurement techniques. This technique is capable of performing non-contact and non-destructive measurement and can be used not only to measure several quantities, such as temperature, pressure, refractive index, but also for investigation of inner structure of a broad range of technical materials. We present theoretical description of low-coherence interferometry and discuss its unique properties. We describe an OCT system developed in our Department for investigation of the structure of technical materials. In order to provide a better insight into the structure of investigated objects, our system was enhanced to include polarization state analysis capability. Measurement results of highly scattering materials e.g. PLZT ceramics and polymer composites are presented. Moreover, we present measurement setups for temperature, displacement and refractive index measurement using low coherence interferometry. Finally, some advanced detection setups, providing unique benefits, such as noise reduction or extended measurement range, are discussed.