Adam J. Hopkins

Spectroscopy Product Manager (Metrohm USA)

Topic: Raman Spectroscopy in the Ethanol Industry – What Can It Do and Why Should You Care?

Summary: During the height of the pandemic, ethanol producers pivoted to new products and markets, becoming producers of hand sanitizer and distilled spirits. These products are valuable sources of diversified revenue and are not likely to go away. With these moves, the ethanol industry can learn from the pharmaceutical and chemical industries and deploy Raman spectroscopy in addition to FTIR and NIR in ways that are approved by the FDA, USP, and ASTM. In this talk, we will (1) explore the basics of Raman and compare it to other techniques, (2) understand common applications such as material identification and fermentation monitoring, and (3) develop simple rules for when and where to deploy the different spectroscopy techniques in a newly expanded toolbox.

Raman spectroscopy is a go to tool for the chemical, pharmaceutical, and biopharmaceutical industries, but is often not part of the toolbox for fuel ethanol producers. This means that producers are missing out on unique capabilities that can improve operations. In this talk, we will explain the basics of Raman spectroscopy and compare it to the more commonly used FTIR and NIR technologies. To more concretely understand the power of Raman spectroscopy, we will compare NIR and Raman applications such as raw material ID and fermentation monitoring to develop simple rules about when to use which technology. As a final part, we will look at how different regulatory bodies such as the FDA, USP, and ASTM view spectroscopy

Bio: Adam J. Hopkins is the Spectroscopy Product Manager at Metrohm USA, where he has overseen the handheld, laboratory, and process spectroscopy product lines since 2016. Following the completion of his Ph.D. at the University of Oregon, he worked in the defense industry developing spectroscopy solutions for standoff and noncontact. Dr. Hopkins is the Marketing Chair for the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, and a member of the American Chemical Society, Coblentz Society, and SPIE. He is the author of 19 papers and three patents.