Earlier this year, we launched our first product for the oil and gas industry, G908™. This rugged 28-pound analyzer combines our patented and award-winning high-pressure mass spectrometry™ (HPMS) technology with the separating power of ballistic GC, to improve efficiencies and provide cost savings across the entire industry. G908’s selectivity and sensitivity enables operators at all levels to monitor process streams throughout the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors, detecting problems quickly and facilitating immediate action.
We are so excited about this breakthrough in technology and the impact it is poised to have on the industry that we decided to take it on the road. Our goal was to get up close and personal with potential customers and introduce them to our unique GC-HPMS approach. Given the concentration of oil, gas and other downstream plants across the West Coast, Midwest, Gulf Region, and East Coast, implementing and executing on the road show series proved to be beneficial in more ways than one.
We opted to kick off our two-month long road show down south, starting with Texas -Lake Jackson, Houston, Beaumont, and moving on to Louisiana – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The attendees were a mix of process and lab-based petrochemical professionals, along with a handful of health and safety lab analysts. During our travels we were fortunate to attract folks from a variety of companies that included Dow, Huntsman, Shell, Chevron, Exxon, Westlake, SABIC and Dixie Chemical.
The majority of the people we met worked in the laboratory themselves and are familiar with the use of GC and MS instruments. For us, the goal was to talk to these exact people – the ones who are in the lab every day and handling the complexities associated with using these legacy instruments. These folks know firsthand how long the analysis process can take and how complicated lab-based GC-MS instruments are to use and maintain. This event provided us with a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how G908 eliminates these pain points and speeds up the analysis process with a newfound ease of use.
Addressing Pain Points
Hitting 12 cities in two months also gave us ample opportunity to hear directly from customers across the industry and gain an even clearer understanding of what applications are proving to be the most challenging in their day-to-day work.
For some, monitoring for BTEX and volatile organic compounds in finished product with regular GC poses a challenge that simplified tools with greater analytical capability, such as G908, will address. For others, it’s the quantification of hydrocarbons and impurities in natural gas, the determination of oxygenates concentrations in hydrocarbon process streams, or a desire for a better sulfur analysis tool. As we continued to discuss these applications, it became increasingly clear that the G908 has the potential to become a game changer.
Take our approach to sulfur species analysis, as an example. A recurring theme during our nation-wide trip was the need for better analytical tools for this application. Refineries need to constantly monitor feedstock and product for sulfur species content and while gas chromatography (GC) is used for the determination of sulfur species today, it requires special detectors such as flame photometric (FPD), sulfur chemiluminescence (SCD) or pulsed flame photometric (PFPD) each of which have limitations. For this specific application, we were able to explain how G908 has the ability separate, identify and quantify sulfur compounds in under five minutes, even in complex product stream matrices. Suffice it to say, attendees were quite impressed!
Another compelling argument in favor of G908 was price. With lab budgets increasingly stressed, operators appreciated the affordability of G908, which provides a lower-cost and more capable alternative to conventional tools. As G908 incorporates a removable compact HPMS core and exchangeable column modules, it is easy to service and swap out components as needed, as opposed to other instruments that utilize an assortment of complex parts and often require specially trained service technicians.
Looking back, we couldn’t have envisioned a better experience. The road show provided the ideal foundation on which to propel G908 forward and we have no intention of slowing down. Building on this nationwide momentum, we’ve started working with several of the attendees to demonstrate how our device can address their specific applications. Through these partnerships, we will continue improving our technology offering and expand G908’s range of applications – so there’s much more to come!
For those interested in connecting or reconnecting with us, we will be at the Gulf Coast Conference on October 11 and 12 in Houston, TX. We hope you’ll visit us at booth #394, where we’ll be showcasing G908, which is also up for three new product awards to be voted on at the show.
By Graham Shelver, Commercial Leader, Applied Markets