Orono Spectral Solutions (OSS) ClearShot Technology Process
Wins the CF Industries 2016 Stephen R. Wilson Safety Award
Through the use of OSS”s patented ClearShot technology, CF Industries has awarded the Stephen R. Wilson Safety Award to the laboratory staff at its Port Neal facility. CF Industries is the largest manufacturer of anhydrous ammonia in North America and annually recognizes extraordinary safety achievement with the Stephen R. Wilson Excellence in Safety Award. From the CF website, the award honors a facility that "best embodied CF's' culture of safety excellence during the proceeding calendar year by implementing innovative ideas that enhanced safety practices and strengthened their safety culture.”
The Port Neal laboratory supervisor, Renee Towne, led the effort to implement the new technology. Her main goal was to improve the safety of her team and eliminate the need for the use of dangerous solvents to test for oil in the ammonia. Ammonia is the chief feedstock for nitrogen-based fertilizer products. Excess oil in anhydrous ammonia can clog nozzles in farm sprayers, causing an uneven application of the fertilizer on fields.
In addition to lowering safety risk and eliminating the need to dispose of the solvent, the traditional oil testing method requires 8 hours of testing before an answer is available but now with the OSS test method, that time is reduced to 20 minutes. This faster and more accurate method, will have benefits far beyond the laboratory. It is projected that plant operations personnel will be able to better monitor their manufacturing process at various stages along the system to improve customer quality and reduce product waste or downtime. In addition to measuring oil in ammonia, the method can also be used to measure oil in urea, Diesel Exhaust Fluid and UAN.
OSS is also working on a water in anhydrous ammonia testing method that will have similar speed, accuracy and safety improvements. This test would improve the safety conditions for the laboratory personnel by reducing the volume of ammonia required for the test and reducing the time to measure from hours to several minutes. From a manufacturing perspective, the plant could more accurately dial in the level of water to improve the product consistency and also increase the control of water in the process by reducing the variability through this continuous flow operation.
OSS, located in Bangor, Maine is an innovative, optical-based solid phase extraction membrane surface technology company whose ClearShot product offers a game changing alternative to an expensive, environmentally hazardous and time consuming current use technology. The company was created as a spinoff from the Laboratory of Surface Science and Technology at the University of Maine. The technology has application in a wide range of industries. For more information contact: 1-866-269-8007 www.ossmaine.com