The process analytical instruments are of various types, classified based on the kind of analyte and the technology used to analyze the elements. Laser-Based Gas Analyzers are one such category of analytical instruments that utilize a laser source to determine the type and quantity of the element in the gaseous phase. Instruments such as Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy (TDLAS), Raman Analyzers, and Cavity-Ring Down Spectroscopy are some of the key Laser-Based Gas Analyzers witnessing high adoption in the industry. The article aims to understand the various application and key trends for the instruments which drives the market growth.

Key Market segments of Laser-Based Gas Analyzers

TDLAS – Leading Segment of Laser-Based Gas Analyzers

TDLAS consists of a single laser light source which is transmitted over a specific gas absorption line to determine the type of gas detected. It has been the most preferred gas analyzer in the market owing to various inherent benefits such as low cost, ease of maintenance, high detection accuracy, as well as the ease of operation. For instance, traditional gas analyzers such as Zirconia, Paramagnetic and so forth require frequent calibration and maintenance in critical process environments. However, a typical TDLAS is enough to be calibrated once in 6 months or a year, though the analyzer can run years together without calibration. Furthermore, TDLAS can provide a quicker response as compared with gas chromatography which makes it an attractive option for the end user. Hence, the ability of TDLAS to provide a reliable solution at a low cost of ownership has been the primary driver for the high growth of the analyzer. From a regional perspective, rapid industrialization in APAC, specifically China, has been the key growth driver for the market. However, conservative economies such as India are hindering growth, primarily due to the lack of technology awareness. From a vertical perspective, critical process industries such as petrochemical, iron and steel, and space are promising market growth, owing to low maintenance and low cost. Even though TDLAS is known for single component analysis, trends indicate bright prospects for multi-component analysis which may increase the growth opportunities. In summary, TDLAS is one of the key gas analyzer segment, expected to grow at a high CAGR.

Raman Analyzers – An Overview

Raman Analyzers work based on the Raman spectroscopy principle of inelastic scattering. A laser light operating at visible to near ultraviolet range interacts with molecules in the system resulting in a shift in the vibrational and rotational energy, which is then used to determine the molecule. Raman Analyzers are available in a portable form and can be utilized for multi-gas analysis in harsh and corrosive industrial applications. Primary applications in the industries involve the evaluation of gas in mixing, metering, and emission determinations. Raman Analyzers are noted for their simpler calibration and excellent signal-to-noise ratio that is preferred in critical industries such as the Natural Gas and chemical industries for composition and mixing analysis. The use of Raman Analyzers is essential in the natural gas industry that the usage is emphasized in the ASTM standards. However, Raman analyzers also have disadvantages. First, even though the Raman Analyzer is known for its measurement compatibility for nitrogen and oxygen, the complexity of the system makes it unworthy for online process analysis set-up. Second, the technique is challenging to apply for samples that fluoresce.  Finally, the high energy of the spectroscopy makes it tough to utilize in explosive regions. Given all the benefits and challenges, the market size of Raman Analyzers is not even 50% of TDLAS. In summary, Raman analyzers have to evolve technologically to mitigate the key challenges and grow on par with TDLAS.

Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) – The High Sensitivity Gas Analyzer

CRDS employs a sensitive technique which works based on the principle of absorption spectroscopy. A single frequency laser beam introduced into a high-finesse cavity reflects back and forth multiple times between a highly reflective mirror, which has a reflectivity to the tune of 99.99%. As the gas species within the cavity absorbs the laser light, the time required for the intensity of the light to ring-down will be calculated with the help of a photo-detector, which records the signal intensity on the other side of the cavity. The key advantage of the CRDS gas analyzer is the ability to make real-time, precision measurements with a sensitivity up to parts-per-trillion level. This ability of the CRDS analyzer is utilized for applications such as trace gas analysis of isotopes. Furthermore, from an industrial perspective, the ease of installation, low operating cost combined with a compact and robust design proves it to be a more attractive option. However, the technique has limitation to the number of analytes detected due to limited availability of the tunable laser light. Moreover, the high reflectivity mirrors and the laser systems itself becomes expensive, which impacts the initial cost of the analyzer. In summary, even though CRDS will be good to measure high-sensitive gases, the industry must reduce the cost to improve the market for the system.

In conclusion, laser-based gas analyzers have proven technologies that have different capabilities to cater to critical process industries. However, the market growth depends on key purchase influencers such as total cost of ownership, ease of operation and maintenance, and so forth. Given these conditions, TDLAS will expectedly gain the market share at the expense of traditional analyzers such as Zirconia and Paramagnetic based analyzers.

Frost & Sullivan’s analytical instrumentation program focuses on key product deliverables including chromatography, spectroscopy, gas analyzers, liquid analyzers, material testing, surface science techniques, life science systems, mass spectrometry, x-ray instrumentation and informatics among others. Frost & Sullivan has also published several research services including Analysis of the Global Mass Spectrometry Market, Global Analysis of the Oil and Gas Analytical Instrumentation Market, Analytical Instrumentation Market for Food Testing, Global Laboratory Analytical Instrumentation Market, Analysis of the Global Analytical X-ray Instrumentation Market, Global Process Analytical Instrumentation Market and Global Water Analysis Instrumentation Market among others.

Frost & Sullivan is working on a syndicated study titled “Global Laser Based Gas Analyzer market”. For any queries related to the article or to purchase a copy of the study, kindly contact the author Sujan Sami at ssami@frost.com.

About Frost & Sullivan

For six decades, Frost & Sullivan has been world-renowned for its role in helping investors, corporate leaders and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies, Mega Trends, new business models and companies to action, resulting in a continuous flow of growth opportunities to drive future success.

Frost & Sullivan

For six decades, Frost & Sullivan has been world-renowned for its role in helping investors, corporate leaders and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies, Mega Trends, new business models and companies to action, resulting in a continuous flow of growth opportunities to drive future success.

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