Interface Fluidics Utilizing the XtalX Pressure Sensor to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions

September 15, 2021

During their lab operations, Interface Fluidics utilized XtalX Pressure Sensors logging over 44,200 hours of sensor measurement time.  One test they used XtalX for was to observe and determine the pressure during their minimum miscibility pressure (MMP) testing. With each test, Interface Fluidics heavily relies on the XtalX Pressure Sensor to provide accurate, reliable pressure readings. 

Bottom hole sampling of oil reservoirs is extremely expensive, once the samples are retrieved, they are difficult to ship. Every drop of this fluid is precious and deciding what analysis to do with this limited sample is a challenge for reservoir engineers. One of Interface Fluidics’ key value propositions is to provide key fluid characterization with much smaller fluid samples.  By using XtalX low dead volume sensors Interface Fluidics can deliver on this promise.  For example, if traditional NPT sensors are used, Interface can conduct only 20 MMP tests with a 200mL sample wasting process fluid to fill sensor dead volumes.  But if XtalX sensors are used they can conduct 1300 tests with the same 200mL sample.  Smaller dead volumes also save time in filling and stabilizing microfluidic systems, as less time is needed to pump and fill dead volume in sensors.      

The XtalX Pressure Sensor added value by reducing the need for constant verification checks to ensure the pressure is accurate. By bringing a precision secondary reference onto the bench, XtalX saves an operator significant time and dramatically improves experimental accuracy. Your best pressure sensors should be attached to your experiment and not kept in a room to remove the risk of damaging an expensive pressure sensor.
 “With Phase, you don’t have to validate as often, you can trust your sensor is working.”
— Shawn Worthing, Senior PVT Analyst at Interface Fluidics

In a traditional fluid properties laboratory, a precision secondary reference is kept in a verification room. This system can only use calibration oil as a fluid, and it contains a delicate precision sensor such as a Fluke RPM4 or Paroscientific DigiQuartz. These sensor design sallow the process fluid into the sensor element and do not contain fluid isolation, because of this they can only be used with clean process fluids like sebacate calibration oil. All process sensors are brought regularly to the verification room to confirm that their calibration has not drifted and that the sensors read correct pressure. This traditional process has some major drawbacks: First, it takes significant time. Second, the process of torquing and un-torquing the process sensor twice to verify it can introduce leaks and shifts the calibration of the process sensor due to stress on the sensor element. Third, the process sensor will have to be thoroughly cleaned twice, once to prevent contamination of the verification system, and again to prevent contamination of the process fluid with sebacate oil. These drawbacks can be removed by using a fluid isolated precision secondary reference like XtalX.           


“XtalX improves the efficiency within the lab and helps save time and money.” 
— Shawn Worthing, Senior PVT Analyst at Interface Fluidics

Another way Phase Sensors has helped Interface Fluidics save time and money is the bespoke fitting that is suitable for their needs. This allowed for easy installation and little to no maintenance. While at the same time maintaining low dead volume due to the construction of the diaphragm. In microfluidics, it is important to use the least amount of fluid possible and with such a low dead volume it allows for less fluid to be wasted. Traditional NPT style pressure sensors have dead volume both in front of the NPT threads and behind the threads where their fluid isolation diaphragm is located. These two dead spaces can have significant dead volumes of ~5mL. By working with Interface to machine a microfluidic specific fitting, it also removed the need for other adapters which in turn saves money and the amount of fluid used (every time an adaptor is added, more volume is added into the system).
At PhaseSensors, we build high resolution and high accuracy pressure sensors for microfluidics. Our design is uniquely suited for microfluidics experiments as it has a very low dead volume of 74µL, and process fluid can flow through the sensor. We microfabricate our own resonant single-crystal quartz sensor elements in a class 10 cleanroom that enable this exceptional performance. At Phase, we recognize that our pressure sensors have a significant impact upon our customers’ business operations, performance and reputation. Therefore, we sweat the little things, so our clients don’t have to.
Interface Fluidics is an “international nanotech company transforming how the energy industry gathers and uses fluids information. Through pore-scale technologies and innovative solutions, Interface delivers better data to oil and gas companies on how fluids behave underground, helping the industry cut unnecessary time, costs and emissions from their operations.”i


i Interface Fluidics. “About.” LinkedIn, 2015, Accessed 13 August 2021.