The Challenge: MEG Test Strips

Provide a simplified ‘test strip’ technique for field operators to confirm Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG) quality without the need for complex laboratory analysis

Challenge Partner

Challenge Context & Description

Many facilities in Australia operate large Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG) closed loop systems to control hydrate deposition. To ensure high availability of these complex regeneration systems it is necessary to routinely monitor MEG quality/chemistry to prevent fouling, corrosion, etc.

Current methods use complicated analytical techniques for example, Ion Chromatography, Inductive Coupled Plasma (ICP), Karl Fisher, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy etc. which require laboratory facilities that may be too large or financially burdensome for offshore operations. In many cases, the limit of detection and precision for these methods is superior to that required for routine MEG management.

The Opportunity

Chevron Australia is seeking a simplified technique that can be used by operators in the field to confirm MEG quality without the need for complex laboratory analysis. Chevron has identified the potential to utilise ‘test strips’, which are common in water treatment and spa/pool industries, to be used in MEG systems. The advantages are low cost, no requirement for lab equipment or specialist laboratory staff and analysis results are available immediately. In addition, the use of non-electrochemical techniques can provide more reliable results in MEG mixtures.

Initial proof of concept work from Chevron has confirmed that standard water-based test strips can respond to changing composition in MEG matrices. Further work is required by a vendor specialised in test strip development to modify test strips to be suitable for MEG matrixes and the target analytes required in MEG systems:

Target Analyte Typical ranges Precision
Calcium 0-10 ppmv Precision required +/- 2.5 ppm
Iron 0-5 ppmv Precision required +/- 1ppm
Chloride 0-5000 ppm Precision required +/-500 ppm
Alkalinity 0-500 mM Precision required 10mM
pH 5.5-12 +/- 0.5

While the table above lists key analytes for this concept, other analytes of interest (if feasible) would include:

Target Analyte Typical ranges Precision
Glycol (MEG)% 10-50% wt Precision required +/- 1%
Magnesium 0-200 ppm Precision required +/- 5ppm

Ideally, this would be developed as a single test strip for use at Chevron facilities and likely by other operators in the region.

If you have any questions about the challenge, check out the Q&A section at the bottom of the page and you can post new queries through our Q&A form.

This challenge closed Friday 23 July 2021, 5 pm AWST.

Q&As: MEG Test Strips

Chevron has demonstrated a proof of concept but is not aware of a commercially available test strip that evaluates MEG quality. The ideal vendor should be able to develop a commercial test strip and manufacture under a long term supply agreement.
It is understood that manufacturing may occur internationally; however, the WA-based company must be the lead applicant.
Yes. The GeneratER pilot allows the company developing the solution to demonstrate the viability of the product for commercialisation to a wider market.
Yes. Applications from other sectors are encouraged.
If you meet the other criteria, we suggest you submit an EOI. Open innovation challenges are as much about potential solutions as they are about existing commercial technologies. There is nothing to lose and potentially much to be gained by letting the Challenge Owners know about what you are working on.