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Reaction Monitoring at Elevated Temperature and Pressure Using Fiber Optic Raman Spectroscopy


Raman spectroscopy is possibly the most powerful real-time technique for reaction monitoring. Raman is applicable to aque- ouns and organic solutions, is simple to use at elevated tempera- tures and high pressures and fiber optic cable lengths can be over 100 meters in length with little impact on spectral quality.

Since there is a wide range of fiber optic probes available, Raman analysis is applicable to almost any environment.

Prior to the employment of Raman in this case study, reaction monitoring was carried out by removing small quantities of reaction solution, using a specialist valve assembly, and anal- yzing these samples post-reaction by gas chromatography. This technique is highly unsatisfactory as removing these samples changes the reaction volume, disturbs the reactor pressure, and disturbs the reaction equilibrium.

A Case Study

Hydrogenation of phenyl acetylene to form styrene and methyl benzene is often used to study the effectiveness of novel catalysts (see Figure 1). The fact that this experiment is carried out at high pressure, high temperature and in the presence of H2 gas, is no problem for Raman.


Andrew Dennis BSc, Ph.D. PerkinElmer

1 Chlorine Gardens Belfast, N. Ireland




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