Stanhope-Seta, which designs and manufactures petroleum test and quality control instruments, and Pyreos, the world’s only supplier of thin-film pyroelectric sensors, announced today that it they have teamed to develop and launch a handheld bio-diesel analyser.

The analyser, called Estercheck III provides a measurement accuracy of 0.2 per cent or below on FAME concentrations in biodiesel up to 60 per cent. The device is optimised for field use to provide early warning of issues: It has no warm up time, a simple user interface and provides a percentage result in just 60 seconds. Several hundred tests can be performed on a single recharge.

The device is designed to provide indications in the field of incorrect fuel mixes for businesses and users who produce, blend, transport and use biodiesel in vehicles and other machines. Stanhope-Seta has launched the product into its worldwide customer base through its global network of distributors and a new American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) / Energy Institute work item is under development to standardise the instrument.

The Estercheck III is the first implementation of Pyreos’ Neon technology platform, which incorporates the Scottish company’s unique infra-red sensors.

Pyreos created the hardware, firmware and application software in the Neon platform for rapid analysis of petrol, diesel, lubricants and other oils wherever they are used. The Neon architecture allows customers rapidly to develop handheld devices for their specific requirements.

Neon utilises mid-IR spectroscopy and Pyreos has filed a number of patents to protect the platform. Neon also has a standardised software interface which allows specialist instrument makers, such as Stanhope-Seta, to load their own analytics, algorithms, user interfaces and branding onto their customised devices and also offer online analytics support.

Stanhope-Seta, the launch customer for the platform, used its expertise in test and measurement to add its own analytics to its implementation of the platform.

Giles Verity, Commercial Director at Stanhope-Seta, said: “We’re impressed that Pyreos has designed, developed, and filed patents on this device in less than 12 months.

“Pyreos’ unique sensor technology for analysis applications helped us to identify revolutionary product opportunities and its technical skills allowed our companies to develop and launch Estercheck III in a comparatively short development time.

“The device is now available to our worldwide customer base through our global network of distributors.”

Andrew Wallace, Chief Executive of Pyreos, said: “We created Neon to help our customers to speed up the launch of handheld analysers.

“Our sensors are unique – no other company produces sensor chips as small as ours or as robust as ours – and that means that they are creating entirely new markets.

“Neon isn’t designed to replace laboratory equipment, but it can reduce the cost of lab tests by providing initial testing in the field.

“For specific tests, it is capable of higher-resolution than some laboratory-based examinations, such as Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) spectroscopy.”

Andrew added: “Stanhope-Seta, which has excellent market knowledge and technical skills, readily understood the benefits of Neon and rapidly developed analytics for the bio-diesel market.

“It has been an excellent customer for this development and has helped test and launch the product rapidly.”