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Technology - Method comparison to measure alcohol concentration


Method comparison to measure alcohol concentration


                                                                                                      Meas.       of flow         Initial      Running

                                          Usability    Accuracy   Calibration     Time        Channel       Cost        Cost

Hydrometer                       Difficult        Low          Difficult       Long       Moderate      Low          Low

Infrared method                Difficult      Middle       Difficult       Short      Required       High          Low


chromatography               Difficult      Middle        Difficult       Long       Required       High         High


plus alcohol meter              Easy          Good           Easy          Short      Moderate     Middle       Low




The price on the market is reasonable, however, cost of annual calibration at third party is expensive. Operator has to take care of the operation since it is made of glassware. When this method is used, large volume of sample needs to be prepared whilst operator has to wait until temperature reaches the specific testing temperature. The human error depending on operator's experience is large, so it is very difficult to get reliable results everyday. 


Infrared Method


Gas chromatography


This method is the latest technology. However, the price is still not reasonable for general alcoholic manufacturers and some countries don't approve it as an official method. This method has gap of accuracy between test result and theoretical value when alcohol concentration is high. Since operators needs to prepare calibration standard, it is not easy works for unexperienced operators. 


This method is efficient when you prefer to get several elements results from one sample. However, operator has to prepare carrier gas and do calibration with standard solutions and the initial cost is expensive. The operation is also not easy for general operators in alcoholic manufactures. 


Distillation plus Alcohol Meter


This is a traditional method and the result is most reliable. In many countries, this process is adopted to method of national regulation. Before measurement of alcohol concentration by alcohol meter (density meter), the process of distillation where the organic substance like sugar is removed from the sample solution. After distillation the mixed solvent (only pure water and alcohol) is tested by alcohol meter. The biggest advantages of alcohol meter ALM-155 is the ability to measure any colored sample and process high viscous sample.  

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