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Process Analytical Technology, PAT - Inorganic

PAT / LIBS / AES / ChemCam / Curiosity / Rover Nd:YAG Laser / Laser Class / SCADA Fertilizer / Iron / Steel / Coal / Bauxites / Alumina / Cement


Bio-Technology Raw Materials and Consumables from Taiwan

Knowledge Bases :

I. Process analytical technology (PAT)
II. Industrial processes
III. PAT tools
    Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS)
    Non-nuclear Radiation free measurement
   Atomic emission spectroscopy (AES)
    Chemistry and Camera complex (ChemCam)
    Nd:YAG Laser
    Laser Classification

Applications :

IV. Fertilizer
V. Iron and Steel
VI. Coal
VII. Bauxites & Alumina
VIII. Cement

I. Process Analytical Technology, PAT


The long-term goals of PAT are to: reduce production cycling time, prevent rejection of batches, enable real time release, increase automation and control, improve energy and material use, facilitate continuous processing.

Process analytical technology (PAT) has been defined by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a mechanism to design, analyze, and control pharmaceutical manufacturing processes through the measurement of critical process parameters (CPP) which affect critical quality attributes (CQA).

The concept actually aims at understanding the processes by defining their CPPs, and accordingly monitoring them in a timely manner (preferably in-line or on-line) and thus being more efficient in testing while at the same time reducing over-processing, enhancing consistency and minimizing rejects.

II. Industrial Processes


The long-term goals of PAT are to: reduce production cycling time, prevent rejection of batches, enable real time release, increase automation and control, improve energy and material use, facilitate continuous processing.

Industrial processes are procedures involving chemical, physical, electrical or mechanical steps to aid in the manufacturing of an item or items, usually carried out on a very large scale. Industrial processes are the key components of heavy industry..

Chemical processes by main basic material
Certain chemical process yield important basic materials for society, e.g., (
cement, steel, aluminum, and fertilizer). However, these chemical reactions contribute to climate change by emitting carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, through chemical reactions, as well as through the combustion of fossil fuels to generate the high temperatures needed to reach the activation energies of the chemical reactions.

III. PAT tools


Fundamental to process analytical technology (PAT) initiatives are the basics of multivariate analysis (MVDA) and design of experiments (DoE). This is because analysis of the process data is a key to understand the process and keep it under multivariate statistical control.

PAT tools

In order to implement a successful PAT project, a combination of three main PAT tools is essential:

  • Multivariate data acquisition and data analysis tools: usually advanced software packages which aid in design of experiments, collection of raw data and statistically analyzing this data in order to determine what parameters are CPP.
  • Process analytical chemistry (PAC) tools: in-line and on-line analytical instruments used to measure those parameters that have been defined as CPP. These include mainly near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS); but also include biosensors, Raman spectroscopy, fiber optics and others.
  • Continuous improvement and/or knowledge management tools: paper systems or software packages which accumulate Quality Control data acquired over time for specific processes with the aim of defining process weaknesses and implementing and monitoring process improvement initiatives. These products may be the same or separated from the statistical analysis tools above.



Schematic of a LIBS system - Courtesy of US Army Research Laboratory

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a type of atomic emission spectroscopy which uses a highly energetic laser pulse as the excitation source.The laser is focused to form a plasma, which atomizes and excites samples. The formation of the plasma only begins when the focused laser achieves a certain threshold for optical breakdown, which generally depends on the environment and the target material.LIBS is one of several analytical techniques that can be deployed in the field as opposed to pure laboratory techniques e.g. spark OES. As of 2015, recent research on LIBS focuses on compact and (man-)portable systems. Some industrial applications of LIBS include the detection of material mix-ups, analysis of inclusions in steel, analysis of slags in secondary metallurgy, analysis of combustion processes, and high-speed identification of scrap pieces for material-specific recycling tasks. Armed with data analysis techniques, this technique is being extended to pharmaceutical samples.


LIBS has no  No gamma-ray, neutron or X-ray radiation.

Radiation exposure is a measure of the ionization of air due to ionizing radiation from photons; that is, gamma rays and X-rays.[1] It is defined as the electric charge freed by such radiation in a specified volume of air divided by the mass of that air.

The SI unit of exposure is the coulomb per kilogram (C/kg), which has largely replaced the roentgen (R).[2] One roentgen equals 0.000258 C/kg; an exposure of one coulomb per kilogram is equivalent to 3876 roentgens.

LIBS is Environmentally and personal safe technology No gamma-ray, neutron or X-ray radiation. No governmental permissions and licenses are needed for operating and transporting the equipment making it simpler and cheaper to manage the production.


Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometer

Atomic emission spectroscopy (AES) is a method of chemical analysis that uses the intensity of light emitted from a flame, plasma, arc, or spark at a particular wavelength to determine the quantity of an element in a sample. The wavelength of the atomic spectral line in the emission spectrum gives the identity of the element while the intensity of the emitted light is proportional to the number of atoms of the element. The sample may be excited by various methods..


The internal spectrometer (left) and the laser telescope (right) for the mast

Chemistry and Camera complex (ChemCam) is a suite of remote sensing instruments on Mars for the Curiosity rover. As the name implies, ChemCam is actually two different instruments combined as one: a laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and a Remote Micro Imager (RMI) telescope. The purpose of the LIBS instrument is to provide elemental compositions of rock and soil, while the RMI will give ChemCam scientists high-resolution images of the sampling areas of the rocks and soil that LIBS targets.[1] The LIBS instrument can target a rock or soil sample from up to 7 m (23 ft) away, vaporizing a small amount of it with about 30 5-nanosecond pulses from a 1067 nm infrared laser and then observing the spectrum of the light emitted by the vaporized rock.


Self-portrait by Curiosity at the foot of Mount Sharp in October 2015.

Curiosity is a car-sized Mars rover designed to explore the Gale crater on Mars as part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission.Mission goals include an investigation of the Martian climate and geology, assessment of whether the selected field site inside Gale has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life (including investigation of the role of water), and planetary habitability studies in preparation for human exploration.


Does the product work in its intended manner? Important for electronics, toys and the like.

Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet; Nd:Y3Al5O12) is a crystal that is used as a lasing medium for solid-state lasers. The dopant, triply ionized neodymium, Nd(III), typically replaces a small fraction (1%) of the yttrium ions in the host crystal structure of the yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG), since the two ions are of similar size.[1] It is the neodymium ion which provides the lasing activity in the crystal, in the same fashion as red chromium ion in ruby lasers.


Warning label for class 2 and higher

Lasers have been classified by wavelength and power into four classes and a few subclasses since the early 1970s. The classifications categorize lasers according to their ability to produce damage in exposed people, from class 1 (no hazard during normal use) to class 4 (severe hazard for eyes and skin).A Class 1 laser is safe under all conditions of normal use. This means the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) cannot be exceeded when viewing a laser with the naked eye or with the aid of typical magnifying optics (e.g. telescope or microscope).


Process control, PLC, DCS, SCADA

Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) is a control system architecture comprising computers, networked data communications and graphical user interfaces for high-level supervision of machines and processes. It also covers sensors and other devices, such as programmable logic controllers, which interface with process plant or machinery.

IV. Fertilizer


For most modern agricultural practices, fertilization focuses on three main macro nutrients: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) with occasional addition of supplements like rock dust for micronutrients.

Brine solution
, P, K

V. Iron and Steel


Steelmaking is the process of producing steel from iron ore and/or scrap. 

CaO ( Calcium oxide )  
SiO2 ( Silicon dioxide )
MgO ( Magnesium oxide )
Fe ( Iron )
( Carbon )

S ( Sulfur )
( Aluminium Oxide )

TiO2 ( Titanium dioxide )
Mn ( Manganese )
(Phosphorus )
Loss on ignition (LOI)
Humidity (Moisture)

VI. Coal

Coal is mostly carbon with variable amounts of other elements, chiefly hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen.
Calorific value
Ash content
Volatiles matter
Si, Al, Fe, Ti, S, K, P, Na, Ca, Mg

VII. Bauxites & Alumina


The global production of aluminium in 2016 was 58.8 million metric tons. It exceeded that of any other metal except iron (1,231 million metric tons)..

Bauxite, Alumina, Lime, Caustic
Na, Mg, Si, S, Cl, K, Ca, Fe
Loss on ignition (LOI)
SiO2, Fe2O3
Na2O, CaO
TiO2, V2O5, P2O5, Ga2O3
Alloy, Ti, V, Mo, C, Si, Mn, Cr, Ni, Cu

VIII. Cement


Modern cements are often Portland cement or Portland cement blends, but industry also uses other cements.

Flux, Sinter
SiO2, Gypsum Flyash, CaO, Al2O3, Fe2O3
Limestone, Slag
, Fe total, MgO, Ca, Si, Fe, Al, Mg, Na
Moisture LSF

Key Words :
#PAT #LIBS #Radiation #AES #ChemCam #CuriosityRover

#Nd #YAG #Laser #SCADA
#Fertilizer #Iron #Steel #Coal #Bauxite #Alumina #Cement

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