Abstract

A tunable diode laser-based sensor is reported to monitor carbon monoxide (CO) concentration under conditions similar to those of laboratory-scale tests used to characterize the behavior of heavy crude oil during in situ combustion (ISC). The sensor uses a DFB diode laser operating over the spectral range of the rotational transition R(11) of the first overtone, wherein simulations of spectral absorption bands for CO, CO2, and H2O showed minimal spectral interference. The absorption spectra were calculated using the HiTran 2008 database at temperatures varying between 150°C and 800°C, pressures from 1 to 5 atm, and the typical concentration of major species in ISC characterization experiments. The measurements of CO concentration were conducted at ambient temperature and pressure in a static glass cell of borosilicate, with a path length of 3.81 cm, to validate the CO sensor architecture under controlled laboratory environments. The calibration curve for CO obtained by quantifying the optical density at the line center of R(11) for a molar-concentration range between 0.7% and 3.4% demonstrated a linear response (coefficient of determination of 0.9986). Experiments at 4 atm and 600 K were carried out in a custom-designed optical chamber with two optical wedged sapphire windows (2°) to avoid the etalon effect. CO-absorption spectra were validated by a comparative study with the HiTran database, while a calibration-free methodology using scanned-wavelength direct absorption was investigated for future characterizing experiments involving ISC. Signal to noise ratios (SNRs) were above 40 in the optical chamber and higher than 14 in the glass cell. The TDL sensor was also successfully validated during real ISC experiments involving Colombian heavy crude oil. The calibration and oxidation experiments showed the potential of TDL-based sensors in the region of 2.3 μm for non-invasive, real-time, and in situ measurements of carbon monoxide generated at similar conditions to those of lab-scale experimental ISC tests.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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