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Hydroptics Workshop

Online – December 15th, 2023

9.30 – 12.30 CET

Please register for the workshop using this link (Webex platform)

About the workshop: Photonic-based technologies hold the potential to revolutionize several sectors such as the oil & gas industry via both industrial processes optimization and advanced monitoring of the impact to the environment. HYDROPTICS, a research project funded under the Horizon 2020 framework by the European Commission, developed reliable, cost-effective, and high-accuracy monitoring solutions of produced water quality involved in up- and downstream processing in the oil industry based on novel mid-IR laser sources. The technological portfolio of the project also includes combination of the data from the new sensors with readily available process data, and a digital twin of the process apparatus to gain in-depth process understanding based on machine learning approaches. The outcome of the project is presented in the workshop.

First, Dr David Gachet from Alpes Lasers SA, a world leader in advanced mid-IR sources, and the HYDROPTICS coordinator will give an overview of the project.

Then, Prof. Benedikt Schwarz from the Technical University of Vienna will introduce dual-comb spectroscopy, one of the key technologies used in Hydroptics’ mid-IR analyzers.

The presentation of Dr Dongbo Wang from IMEC & Ghent University will focus on the innovative integration of dual mid-IR lasers on a silicon photonics platform, an important step toward the integration and miniaturization of sensors.

Dr Haddadi Bahram from the Technical University of Vienna will present a compact solution for continuous sample conditioning developed within the project, which was tailored for the needs of the industry.

Dominik Wacht from the Technical University of Vienna will present the novel mid-IR analyser developed within the project, which was tailored for the needs of the industry.

Dr Thomas Arnold from Silicon Austria Labs will describe a second technology developed by HYDROPTICS to characterise oil particles.

Finally, Dr Martin Datler from OMV will explain the value of field-testing analysers.



10’ HYDROPTICS – the challenge and solutions

Dr David Gachet, Alpes Lasers SA

20’ + 10’ Q&A Coherent control of FM-combs with radio-frequency injection

Prof. Benedikt Schwarz, Technical University of Vienna

20’ + 10’ Q&A Innovative Integration of Dual-DFB Quantum Cascade Lasers on Silicon Photonics Platform

Dr Dongbo Wang, IMEC & Ghent University

20’ + 10’ Q&A Compact Solution for Continuous Sample Conditioning

Dr Bahram Haddadi, Technical University of Vienna

20’ + 10’ Q&A Novel mid-IR analyser for the oil industry

Dominik Wacht, Technical University of Vienna

20’ + 10’ Q&A The Hydroptics particle sensing system

Dr Thomas Arnold, Silicon Austria Labs

20’ + 10’ Q&A The value of field-testing online analysers

Dr Martin Datler, OMV

Privacy notice: Participation in the event implies a simple registration of the participants. The data collected will not be stored or used in any manner or for any purpose further to the sending a reminder email prior to the event and sharing the link to attend the meeting. The data are collected by the HYDROPTICS project coordinator (Alpes Lasers SA) using the WebEx platform. For any inquiries, please contact the HYDROPTICS coordinator at:

The workshop was recorded and will be put online very soon.

Alpes Lasers product development

One of our key Partner Alpes Lasers is presenting recent advancements in their products of Mid-IR laser market, in particular discussing our project and hinting some directions for future commercialization of the project outputs.
Alpes Lasers is responsible for project management of HYDROPTICS and for development of Quantum Cascade Laser single mode and frequency comb systems.


EPIC Online Technology Meeting on Spectroscopy and Imaging for Process Monitoring [workshop]

HYDROPTICS was one of the subjects of the workshop, the coordinator of the project was one of the key speakers.

The subject of the project was:
Anywhere from automotive to pharmaceutical industry process monitoring is a key for safety control, production optimization and automatization. Spectroscopy and imaging are the fundamental technologies enabling in-line and on-line process monitoring in a reliable and non-invasive manner. During this meeting we will bring together the end-users and the photonics supply chain to discuss what new challenges have to be addressed as well as what new solutions are developed.



EPIC Photonics Sensors of Safer and Intelligent Oil & Gas Producers [workshop]

HYDROPTICS was one of the subjects of the workshop, the coordinator of the project was one of the speakers.

The subject of the project was:
The use of photonic technologies is well known at the oil and gas industry as they allow for real-time monitoring of temperatures and pressures in downhole petroleum and geothermal environments to maximize resource extraction. In this meeting, we will explore fiber sensing technologies for downhole oil reservoir, well and pipeline structural monitoring but also other spectroscopic techniques able to provide multicomponent analysis of complex gas mixtures and for environmental control together with the key players in the development of photonic technologies and the main end-users in the sector.






Wastewater will soon become cleaner and less harmful to plants and animals thanks to a new, ultra-sensitive water sensor being developed by European scientists to detect tiny amounts of toxic substances with light.

A new laser system to detect minute traces of toxic substances in wastewater is currently in development by a consortium of European scientists.

Wastewater – water used in a commercial, domestic, or industrial setting and contaminated by human use – is very dangerous to wildlife and food chains if residual toxic compounds remain.

With the need to be purified to international standards, scientists strive to make wastewater free from hazardous substances like particles of oil and hard material like rocks.

But now, researchers from Swiss engineering firm, Alpes Lasers have teamed up with a group of oil industry partners and academic institutes to create an ultrafast sensor that will make toxic wastewater harmless by detecting the tiniest concentrations of oil and suspended solids in water.

Improving its detection rate using AI and machine learning, this new laser system will continuously monitor water in a live setting, with no need for sampling or preparation.

Using hyperspectral imaging – a technique to photograph a mixture of infrared and other light wavelengths – the sensor will detect microscopic pathogens that are indistinguishable to the human eye or conventional imaging methods.

Oil Processing
Harmful ‘wastewater’ by-products are created particularly when naturally-occurring ‘crude oil’ is, processed, distilled and refined to make new, useful fuels like diesel, kerosene, and liquefied petroleum.

Producing cooling water, process water, stormwater, and sanitary sewage waters, oil refineries have sought to reduce the number of dangerous by-products by monitoring the wastewaters at critical stages in their refining processes.

But this new light-based analyser looks to place fewer pollutants into the environment during oil refining while simultaneously optimising core processes in water extraction from crude oil by 10%.

Although sophisticated techniques at present use acoustics to identify all the constituents in crude oil, some dangerous elements may still be present in wastewater.

Frequency Combs
Aiming to give Europe a global competitive lead in oil refining, the European consortium ‘HYDROPTICS’ is developing the most sensitive and one of the first water analysers to use Quantum Cascade Laser Frequency Combs.

Quantum Cascade Lasers Frequency Combs are novel laser sources that provide equidistant coherently linked optical modes in the mid-IR range, currently deployed in spectroscopy applications precisely due to their unique properties.

Project coordinator, Dr Antoine Muller said: “The HYDROPTICS project is creating a highly accurate oil-in-water analyser based on cutting edge mid-IR light sources and spectroscopy techniques.

“Our highly sensitive analyser will optimise several critical stages in oil production as well as control downstream processing routines for final mineral oil product development.

“Frequency Comb Quantum Cascade Laser source will enable scientists to rapidly measure the area of the absorption peak related to deformation vibration of the methyl groups.”

Rapid Processing
At present, Quantum Cascade Lasers can be used to measure the oil content in water. However, this requires a reference sample that can take several hours to prepare and deliver a result.

But, this new HYDROPTICS device can deliver measurements in minutes. Project Coordinator, Dr Sargis Hakobyan said: “Our scientists at HYDROPTICS are using two lasers to continuously monitor the oil-in-water content for long periods, which is not possible with current techniques that use a single laser.

“We are also developing machine learning techniques to collect and analyse data to refine the extraction process.

The EU is the second-largest producer of petroleum products in the world after the United States, with a crude refining capacity of about 15 million barrels per day, representing 16% of total global capacity.

“Our novel, ultrasensitive oil-in-water on-line analyser will mean Europe will gain a significant industrial lead.

“Essentially, HYDROPTICS will enable Europe’s oil industry to have a better yield with less waste, to have a by-product we can re-use while having a positive environmental impact.

“The positive innovation and environmental implications of our technology mean we can help address a significant Societal Challenge in smart, green technology,” said Dr Hakobyan.

Fluid Analysis
The consortium sees the long term implications of HYDROPTICS being tailored to any industry that needs to perform molecular detection in liquids or gases.

Dr Hakobyan said: “We expect industries that are looking to perform highly sensitive analyses of liquids or gases to benefit from HYDROPTICS: surface water monitoring for phosphate/nitrate contamination; milk analysis for protein/fat concentration and early-warning systems for accidental or deliberate contaminations”.

The consortium expects to have a prototype ready by 2023. Dr Muller said: “We expect to test a working prototype that will be installed in an oil refinery business with our two partners in Austria and Turkey in a love setting. All parts of the prototype will be verified by each corresponding partners labs.”

HYDROPTICS is coordinated in Switzerland by the company Alpes Lasers (Neuchâtel, Switzerland) and is comprised of 10 partners, including Quantared Technologies (AT), IRsweep (CH), DBC Europe (BE), OMV Exploration & Production GmbH (AT), Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri Anonim Sirketi (TR); Technische Universitaet Wien (AT), Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (BE), Silicon-Austria Labs (AT), and National Technical University of Athens – NTUA (EL).



Hydroptics Kick-off meeting

The kick-off meeting took place on December 5th & 6th 2019 at Alpes Lasers premises Neuchâtel, Switzerland. All partners contributed to the meeting with interesting and informative presentations.