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Sensors 2017, 17(6), 1248;

A Low-Cost System Based on Image Analysis for Monitoring the Crystal Growth Process

Instituto de Química, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Hélio de Almeida St., 40, Cidade Universitária, Rio de Janeiro 21941-614, Brazil
Centro de Pesquisas e Desenvolvimento Leopoldo Américo Miguez de Mello, PETROBRAS, Cidade Universitária, Rio de Janeiro 21040-000, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 8 April 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Many techniques are used to monitor one or more of the phenomena involved in the crystallization process. One of the challenges in crystal growth monitoring is finding techniques that allow direct interpretation of the data. The present study used a low-cost system, composed of a commercial webcam and a simple white LED (Light Emitting Diode) illuminator, to follow the calcium carbonate crystal growth process. The experiments were followed with focused beam reflectance measurement (FBRM), a common technique for obtaining information about the formation and growth of crystals. The images obtained in real time were treated with the red, blue, and green (RGB) system. The results showed a qualitative response of the system to crystal formation and growth processes, as there was an observed decrease in the signal as the growth process occurred. Control of the crystal growth was managed by increasing the viscosity of the test solution with the addition of monoethylene glycol (MEG) at 30% and 70% in a mass to mass relationship, providing different profiles of the RGB average curves. The decrease in the average RGB value became slower as the concentration of MEG was increased; this reflected a lag in the growth process that was proven by the FBRM. View Full-Text
Keywords: imaging analysis; crystal growth; calcium carbonate imaging analysis; crystal growth; calcium carbonate

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Venâncio, F.; Rosário, F.F.; Cajaiba, J. A Low-Cost System Based on Image Analysis for Monitoring the Crystal Growth Process. Sensors 2017, 17, 1248.

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