Productising Microfluidic Technology for Testing and Analysing Crude Oils/Lubricating Oils
RAB-Microfluidics is a Research and Development company developing cutting-edge microfluidic technology to solve oil analysis problems.
RAB-Microfluidics identified an opportunity to revolutionise petroleum testing and analysis services by making conventional laboratory procedures mobile, rapid and routine. Conventionally, testing and analysis of petroleum fluid has been carried out in a commercial laboratory using wet chemistry techniques. RAB-Microfluidics compacted the entirety of a stationary commercial laboratory into a Lab-On-A-Chip that offers chemical assays in real-time using microfluidic technology. This consequently expands current areas of application, permitting point-of-need measurements, aiding rapid decision-making, enhancing process-efficiency and provides cost savings for the oil and gas industry.
RAB-Microfluidics engaged with OGIC and collaborated with the University of Aberdeen as its academic partner.
The project enabled RAB-Microfluidics to develop its first prototype instrument for technology demonstration purposes, and for laboratory based measurements. The ‘Lab-On-A-Chip’ technology has the ability to perform oil conditioning monitoring (OCM) 1,000 times faster than current techniques. This gives scientists and engineers high-resolution data transforming decision making in oilfield operations and plant maintenance that depends on OCM programmes.
RAB-Microfluidics are currently exploring the possibility of expanding the capability of this technology to assay further components critical to operations in the oil and gas industry in a follow-on project.
“Engaging with OGIC and the University of Aberdeen has been an extremely valuable process. Working with the University has allowed us to develop clever laboratory work into a tangible field-deployable product. Achieving this first phase in the development process is a key step in delivering portable mobile devices that can permit real-time geochemical and lubricating oil analysis at point-of-need.”
Rotimi Alabi, CEO, RAB-Microfluidics
“The technology underlying RAB-Microfluidics new range of oil-sensors was originally developed as part of a Blue Skies project building sensors to look for life in space. Our sensors and processing systems saw use in the Arctic during the NASA-Haughton Mars project and without OGIC’s support this would have been the furthest development.
“Now because of OGIC’s timely involvement the newest generation of sensors will see use in field trials on heavy machinery later this spring. OGIC have helped start the development of a product line with huge potential to optimise heavy machinery operations and maintenance, the world over.”
Stephen Bowden, Lecturer Organic Geochemistry, University of Aberdeen