Aqsens – Rapid on-site scale monitoring for the oil industry

February 11th, 2016 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Aqsens Q Technology has now applications both for polymeric and for phosphonate scale inhibitor (SI) measurement. The technology enables on-site visibility of scale inhibitor activity and further optimisation of chemicaScreen Shot 2016-02-11 at 11.32.54l management, leading to substantial cost savings.

The unique detection approach developed by Aqsens is able to measure low (1 ppm) concentrations of both types of scale inhibitors in produced water. The test protocol requires just basic pipetting skills, takes less than 10 minutes and can be done on-site. It provides the on-site platform operator with real time, cost effective residual scale inhibitor monitoring suitable for either topside, down well or squeeze treatment management.

The Aqsens Q Technology uses the inherent ability of scale inhibitors to bind metal ions to achieve a reliable measurement of the residual scale inhibitor concentration. This unique feature ensures that tagged and untagged type scale inhibitors can be measured so that the operator can immediately implement the use of the system without having to change their production chemistry.

HPLC comparison (2)


The system has been successfully benchmarked against laboratory HPLC methods with core flood samples and produced water samples ( It has been successfully trialed on site ( and user evaluations are in progress. The Aqsens Q Technology  has been deployed in Kemira KemConnect SI.


The  KemConnect System is now available through Aqsens along with 2 applications:

  • Residual polymeric scale monitoring in produced water with a sensitivity of 1 ppm active chemistry.
  • Residual phosphonate monitoring in produced water with a sensitivity of 1 ppm active chemistry. Currently available as a Beta product with full product availability in June 2016.

For further information and sales please contact or directly:

Paul Mundill CTO
Timo Teimonen CEO

Aqsens – Phosphonate Scale Inhibitor Application Update

February 19th, 2016 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Using the same measurement system deployed in KemConnect SI, Aqsens can now offer a Phosphonate Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 11.32.54Application. This product has been developed to enable customers to obtain reliable measurements of their residual phosphonate scale inhibitor on-site. Phosphonate scale inhibitors can be measured easily and simply.

The following reported performance was obtained with a R&D prototype measured using the Aqsens Q reader. In line with our quality approach, final performance specification will be available at product release.

Analytical performance

Calibration curve was generated by spiking synthetic brine with DTPMP. The calibration curve was linear over the range of 1 to SI chart100 ppm of active phosphonate. There was very high linear correlation between the signal generated and the and the sample dilution indicating that a wide dynamic range should be possible (presented in Figure 1 below).

Based on these data and the precision measurements (%CV currently between 1 to 5%), a sensitivity of at least 0.5 ppm of active phosphonate will be achieved.

The accuracy of the test along with its robustness to produced water was determined by spiking produced water with a phosphonate SI product of known activity and determining the percentage recovery. The results are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Spiking and recovery experiment with produced water.

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 15.04.11

Tolerance to common chemistries

Produced water contains a variety of natural and added chemistries. The following individual ion have been tested so far (see Table 2 below).

Table 2 – the tolerance levels are in ppmScreen Shot 2016-02-19 at 15.04.33

The test is also tolerant to the presence of chemical additives containing phosphorus such as phosphonate esters used in corrosion inhibitor products. Additionally the test will tolerate high levels of polymeric scale inhibitor (for example 300 to 500 ppm while still reliably measuring 1 ppm phosphonate) including chemistries that contain phosphorous tags.

Summary of the test protocol

The test has a sample preservation step and a measurement step. The preservation step should be carried out as soon as the sample has been collected by mixing a fixed volume of the sample with a fixed volume of a pre-prepared stabilisation solution. Once done, the sample is stable for at least  a month.

Once the stabilisation step has been completed the sample can be measured using one of the single use test kits according to the instructions. The test takes about 30 minutes and will indicate the concentration of the phosphonate in the sample based on the factory calibration.

For further information and sales please contact or directly CTO Paul Mundill (

Joining forces to fight oral cancer

November 20th, 2015 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Industry and academia have come together to join the battle against oral cancer – cancer of the mouth, throat or neck – which is a huge problem in India, accounting for some 40 % of all cancer diagnoses. Its high prevalence is due chiefly to the widespread practice of chewing tobacco, which is cheap to obtain. This habit is frequently acquired at a very early age and, as a consequence, children as young as 12 years of age are presenting with oral cancer. If diagnosed early, the condition is treatable. However, in remote, rural areas of the country, there is often a lack of awareness of the problem, compounded by social barriers to seeking advice, and very limited access to trained medical staff and diagnostic facilities. With support from Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation – and the Department of Biotechnology India, Aqsens is collaborating with the University of Turku, the Biocon Foundation, Axxonet®, and local health industry partners in India to develop a portable screening instrument based on its liquid fingerprinting technology. This technology has the potential to enable early investigation of possible oral cancers, even in the most isolated regions of the country.


Detecting diseases with liquid fingerprinting technology

From an instrumental point of view, as long as there is a reliable marker for the disease in question it is possible to create a simple testing device. However, there are some diseases – and oral cancer is one of them – where no reliable specific markers are known. In these cases, developing a simple diagnostic test is not so easy. Aqsens liquid fingerprinting technology, a rapid, time-resolved fluorescence (TRF) technique, has the potential to enable saliva chemical profiling, providing a multidimensional insight into a person’s oral health, and is fundamental to the oral cancer collaborative study between the company and the University of Turku. By collecting saliva from known early stage oral cancer sufferers and healthy individuals, the liquid fingerprinting method can be ‘taught’ to distinguish between the two groups. This works extremely well from a screening perspective, requiring just one sample to effectively identify which category a patient belongs to, and whether they should be referred to a specialist.


Taking up the challenge

Developing a straightforward testing device for use in India has its challenges. As many as 800 million people live in very remote areas with limited facilities and rarely, if ever, see a doctor. Any screening instrument must be portable, lightweight and small enough to transport by bicycle if necessary. It must work accurately and reliably in 40 °C heat, be easy to produce, low cost, and simple enough to be operated by somebody with little or no medical training. There are also cultural differences between the Western world and India; in India, invasive testing such as biopsy or blood sampling is frowned upon. For this reason, saliva was the ideal biological fluid on which to develop the oral cancer screening method.


Complementary technologies

Pajat Solutions, another Finnish company, had previously used its Poimapper mobile data collection software to transmit mobile phone images of patients’ mouths to a doctor elsewhere in the country. Liquid fingerprinting perfectly complements this visual analysis, providing additional data that can be similarly transferred alongside the photograph of the patient’s mouth, putting the doctor in a better position to decide which people may need further investigation. In a country where telecom networks are everywhere, this is a practical way of transferring data.


Partnership brings success

Scientists dream of creating a groundbreaking method or device that has a real impact in their chosen field. Collaborations between like-minded individuals, combining expertise and novel technologies, can enhance the development of innovative healthcare solutions. With the proof of concept complete, the next step for Aqsens and the biophysics research group at the University of Turku is product development, working with Indian manufacturing partners to produce the final screening device. Although it may be a year or two before the system is available, the technology has the potential to transform oral cancer screening in India, allowing people in the most remote regions, as well as those in urban areas, to benefit from early diagnosis and initiation of treatment. The success of this partnership perfectly illustrates the advantages of an industry-academia collaboration, and could, quite literally, give people in India and elsewhere a chance to live.


Article is based on the interview with Professor Pekka Hänninen, Laboratory of Biophysics, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Turku

Kemira and technology start-up Aqsens join forces for unconventional collaboration

November 13th, 2015 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Kemira Oyj, global chemistry company serving customers in water-intensive industries,  and Aqsens Oy, Finnish technology start-up,  have announced a new collaboration model combining the strengths of a larger global player and an agile newcomer in order to be able to offer unique value to customers in the oil industry. Together the two companies develop, market and sell innovative on-site liquid analyses solutions that enable timely process information and other value-adding services. The collaboration is a result of two years of joint development work.

The collaboration model builds on the companies’ complementary expertise and strengths. The model includes joint development work, cross licensing of IPR, joint marketing and sales as well as a personnel exchange program.

“Kemira has been innovating in oilfield scale control for over 15 years. By working with Aqsens, we are able to further increase the agility and solution-focus of our customer offering”, says Heidi Fagerholm, CTO, R&D and Technology at Kemira.

“I am very excited about this opportunity and Kemira’s brave step to collaborate in this new and open fashion”, says Timo Teimonen, CEO of Aqsens. “By combining Aqsens Q-technology for liquid analyses with Kemira’s knowhow and product offering we can deliver true value to the market. This is a great motivator to the Aqsens team.”

The first application developed by Kemira and Aqsens, and available on Kemira KemConnect™ SI system, is able to measure residual polymeric scale inhibitor concentration in the oil field in a few minutes. For the first time service operators are able to obtain measurements of their residual polymeric scale inhibitors levels when they need them, immediately. This timely accurate data will improve their treatment effectiveness decisions that assure facility integrity and minimize production deferment.

For more information, please contact

Kemira Oyj
Heidi Fagerholm, CTO, R&D and Technology
Tel. +358 50 5119 541

Aqsens Oy
Timo Teimonen, CEO
Tel. +358 40 585 3105


Kemira is a global chemicals company serving customers in water-intensive industries. We provide expertise, application know-how and chemicals that improve our customers’ water, energy and raw material efficiency. Our focus is on pulp & paper, oil & gas, mining and water treatment. In 2014, Kemira had annual revenue of EUR 2.1 billion and around 4,250 employees. Kemira shares are listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd.

Aqsens(TM) is a technology startup delivering novel applications for qualitative and quantitative liquid analyses. Its Q-technology will provide high level of sensitivity, ease of use together with unsurpassed accuracy even on-site. Company’s vision is to become a leading technology company in on-site liquid analyses applications focusing on Cleantech and Life-Science Businesses.

Press Release Published by Kemira Oyj via Globenewswire 12.11.2015. 

Meet Aqsens team at ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi 9th-12th November

November 4th, 2015 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

We are pleased to announce that we are participating ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi during 9 -12th November 2015.

We would like to meet you to discuss how our residual scale inhibitor monitoring system developed with Kemira as KemConnect™ could benefit you in measuring oilfield chemistry.

Book a meeting with Aqsens CTO Paul Mundill and Application Development Manager Joonas Siivonen while you are there.

Please contact the team directly for meeting in Abu Dhabi.

Paul Mundill, CTO

Tel. +358 45 256 3727


Joonas Siivonen, Application Development Manager

Tel. +358 40 845 5240



Read more about Aqsens solution for residual scale inhibitor monitoring from here.




Water analysis – A New Fingerprinting Paradigm

September 23rd, 2015 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Conventional wisdom suggests that analytical analysis of a liquid requires specific recognition coupled with a measurable reporter. With these elements an individual component can be measured specifically with high sensitivity. However, when the individual active components in a sample are not known, for example in authentication of wine, a new strategy is required.


The utilisation of non-specific or low affinity recognition components in e-nose or e-tongue technologies have demonstrated their usefulness in a specialist laboratory environment for such authentication solutions. However, these techniques require frequent calibration, expert operators and are not amenable to mobile on site use.


Aqsens has developed a liquid fingerprinting platform, Aqsens Q technology, that can be applied to such authenticity or quality problems and the quantitation of individual components within a complex liquid. The system is easy to use, portable and suitable for onsite use.


The Aqsens Q technology utilises an array of surface chemistries (called modulators) that interact with the sample in the presence of an europium entity. The resulting signals from the array are measured using a Time Resolved Fluorescence (TRF) reader, ensuring high sensitivity and elimination of any natural background fluorescence. This produces a set of non-specific interactions that are repeatable and unique to the sample; the resulting profile is referred to as the samples liquid fingerprint.


In a typical scenario a sample of the authentic ‘reference’ sample meeting the quality control criteria is measured and used as a reference. Subsequent production samples can then be measured to confirm that they are within the required acceptance range. Additionally the test can be used to confirm that returned samples are the producer’s authentic material. This is achieved by using principle component analysis techniques to compare the authentic reference sample with the “unknown” test sample. When this approach is applied over time to quality management of either incoming complex materials (e.g. such as berry juice or biological materials) or final product it should be possible to also group the substandard batches to enhance problem tracking and improve acceptance specification.


The advantage of Aqsens Q System being that a sample can be tested onsite by the person collecting the sample and that the test is taking into account the whole of the sample; it is not limited to a single or small group of active components. The reader and the reagents are factory calibrated and the individual application tests can be designed to ignore typical environmental variations in the sample.


The technology has been applied to wines,bottled water, cola drinks and berry juice the details of which are reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (download from here). Development of the technology and new fields of application continues in close collaboration with the original inventor Professor Hänninen and his research group at Turku University.


In addition to the liquid fingerprinting approach Aqsens have utilised their understanding of the chemical principles to develop quantitative applications for the measurement of specific production chemicals used in the oil and gas industry for the management of produced water arising from oil production. The first application for the measurement of scale inhibitors is undergoing industrial evaluation and further applications are well advanced.

Contact us for any further information.


Pekka E. Hänninen, Joonas J. Siivonen, Pave I. Väisänen, Satu A. Tiittanen, Mirva M. Lehmusto,Timo Teimonen, Niklas Törnkvist, Mari A. Sandell, Antti J. Knaapila, Paul Mundill,and Harri J. Härmä. Fuzzy Liquid Analysis by an Array of Nonspecifically Interacting Reagents: The Taste of Fluorescence. J. Am. Chem. Soc2013, 135 (20), pp 7422–7425.

Aqsens phosphonate application

Peace of mind assured by on-site monitoring of residual phosphonates in oil and gas production

June 15th, 2015 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Phosphonates are widely used in the oil and gas industries for scale control and corrosion inhibition, and careful monitoring is required to ensure the minimum inhibitory concentration is maintained. To meet this need, Aqsens has extended the scope of its TRF-technology to include the detection of residual phosphonates as well as polymeric scale inhibitors.


Phosphonates are very similar to scale inhibitor polymers and are used in many of the same applications, particularly in the oil and gas industries. The existing Aqsens Oil platform’s application has been designed for on-site polymeric scale inhibitor monitoring but, with many industries also monitoring phosphonates, there is a clear demand to extend the TRF-technology to this application. Six months on from the first customer request, the proof of concept study is complete, and the results show that Aqsens TRF- technology is suitable for monitoring DETA phosphonate. See below a presentation on test results from spiking studies with produced water samples from North Sea and Middle-East.



Why – and how – is phosphonate monitored?


Phosphonates are a cheap, effective and well-known means of scale inhibition and, in terms of expenditure, account for about a third of the scale inhibitor market. Currently, around two thirds of oil and gas wells are treated with phosphonates, with producers working to a defined minimum inhibitor concentration (MIC) to ensure safe operation. If the inhibitor concentration falls below this level, there is a risk of scale building up, increasing the pressure and potentially causing a blockage in the piping that brings production to a halt. This situation is both difficult and expensive to recover from, and may even require the drilling of a new well.


On-site monitoring offers advantages over traditional laboratory testing


Laboratory testing; the conventional approach

Phosphonate concentrations are generally determined using an ICP (inductively coupled plasma) technique to measure the total elemental phosphorus concentration. However, the total concentration may be artificially raised by the presence of naturally occurring phosphorus – for example from bacteria present in the well – leading to experimental errors. It is also important to note that, for scale inhibition monitoring, only the active phosphonate is of interest.


ICP analysis requires expert scientists and expensive, complex instrumentation – which may not be readily available at the well site – and maintenance can be time consuming if specialist engineers need to be flown in to undertake servicing and repairs. Alternatively, samples may have to be transferred to an off-site laboratory for analysis, increasing the time to results, which can lead to a delay in the identification of a problem, potentially risking the process.


On-site monitoring 

Oil and gas wells are generally in difficult to access locations and, without on-site access to testing equipment, rapid determination of phosphonate concentrations may not be possible. The compact, portable Aqsens Q system and measurement protocol offers straightforward on-site monitoring of phosphonates, and has successfully been used to quantify DETA phosphonate in a standard brine solution over a range of 0.5 to 10 ppm. Capital expenditure is less than for ICP instrumentation and scientific expertise is not required, allowing even relatively unskilled staff to perform phosphonate analysis rapidly and reliably. This ensures MIC specifications are met, minimizing the risk of scale build-up.


In contrast to ICP, Aqsens TRF-technology – based on time-resolved fluorescence (TRF) and the chelating ability of the target molecule – has the advantage of monitoring only the active phosphonate. This means that if thermal or chemical stress cause the phosphonate to degrade in the well and no longer function as a scale inhibitor, it will not be detected, allowing more accurate adjustment of the chemical feed. This not only provides peace of mind from a process safety perspective, it also introduces cost savings; if phosphonate levels are found to be too high, the dosage can be reduced, decreasing the expenditure on chemicals.


Aqsens TRF- technology suitable for any phosphonate monitoring application


While the early emphasis has been on the oil and gas industries, the TRF- technology is suitable for monitoring phosphonates in a variety of fields. Other typical phosphonate monitoring applications include water purification – where phosphonates are used to prevent precipitation that could damage the reverse osmosis membrane – and medicine where, for example, bisphosphonates are commonly used in osteoporosis medications.


Interested? Then get involved!

With the proof of concept phase complete, Aqsens is actively seeking customers with a phosphonate monitoring application who are interested in taking part in the next phase of the product development – sample testing. Testing phase partners will also have the opportunity to participate in the subsequent user evaluation of the system, helping to refine the platform and create the product of the future.
For more information on how to take part, visit

Oilfield Aqsens Technology

SPE Presentation: Application of a novel method for real-time monitoring of scale control products at the site of use

June 8th, 2015 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Aqsens novel method for testing polymeric scale inhibitor was presented with two case studies at SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry 13th-15th April 2015 in Texas by Kemira.

Polymeric scale inhibitors can be difficult to detect at MED levels even with sophisticated analytical procedures. The necessary equipment is located in remote laboratories causing delays  in obtaining results. It can take weeks to know the effectiveness of the scale control program.

Novel Aqsens technology is based on time-resolved-fluorescence method. It opens the possibility to control scale program efficiency infield with portable field lab unit. The results are ready for use in 10-15 minutes depending on the concentration.

The case studies presented at SPE symposium tested how well Aqsens technology performs compared to current testing possibilities such as HPLC. Aqsens effectiveness was demonstrated on more than 90 produced water samples collected from offshore and onshore wells.

See the full case studies on onshore mature heavy oil field and North Sea fields from attached SPE presentation.

Looking for Production Scientist to Turku

February 18th, 2015 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

AQSENS™ is seeking innovative and experienced Production Scientist to take our business forward.

The main job responsibilities are the coordination of the test cartridge production with sub contractors, its analysis, documentation as well as some QA activities. The production scientist is responsible for the system level testing of Aqsens’ products.You will also be expected to collaborate with research and development functions to establish the manufacturing processes, documentation and testing protocols for products in the development pipeline. Work programs are delivered to challenging time lines while adapting to changes in customer requirements; flexibility with attention to detail is essential. 

Our prospective applicant would have a degree in chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering or in a related field, with minimum of 3 years of industrial experience, preferably from a role in manufacturing or QA of IVD test or comparable products. Good laboratory skills are required on top of office work. You also have excellent interpersonal, technical and reporting skills. Be prepared to demonstrate that they you can self- direct your work and are competent in English and Finnish.

The job is a permanent position and located in Turku. The job requires traveling 10-20 %.

Read the full job announcement here.

The applications deadline is 13.3.2015.

Aqsens Fingerprint

Liquid fingerprinting – a novel approach to sample identification and quality control

January 28th, 2015 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Ensuring sample quality and integrity is vital in so many different industries, helping to establish, for example, the authenticity, purity and safety of the food and drink we consume, the medication we rely on, and the various products used in agriculture for crop production. Aqsens has developed liquid fingerprinting, an innovative technology with the potential to revolutionize the way scientists establish the identity, composition and origins of a range of sample types in industries as diverse as oil and gas, pharma, food and beverage, and agrochemicals.


What is liquid fingerprinting?


Most people are familiar with the traditional definition of a fingerprint – the impression of a fingertip on any surface – but, in the world of science, the term fingerprint has an alternative meaning. To scientists, the word fingerprint can also refer to a trait or characteristic that is specific to a particular substance, enabling its place of origin or functionality to be determined, or to analytical evidence such as a chromatogram or mass spectrum which categorically establishes a sample’s identity. A more recent development from Aqsens is liquid fingerprinting, a rapid, straightforward time-resolved fluorescence (TRF) technique that can be used qualitatively or quantitatively, with many potential applications.


Liquid fingerprinting takes advantage of the long fluorescence lifetime – typically in the millisecond range – of a lanthanide-based dye. The dye is mixed with a sample in liquid format, and the sample-dye complex applied to an array of non-specific surface chemistries, each of which reacts differently. Some of the surface chemistries will interact with the sample-dye complex to protect and stabilize the dye or to enhance the fluorescent signal, while others will have the opposite effect and quench the signal. The benefit of using non-specific chemistries is that the array has the capability to interact with many compounds, yet only a limited number of sensors are required. This combination of multiple interactions generates a matrix of high and low TRF signals that is specific to the individual sample, allowing its unique fingerprint to be determined. A great deal of information can be acquired for each sample – far more than would be obtained using the same number of specific chemistries – making characterization easier. This is a big advantage compared to traditional analytical techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Liquid fingerprinting can, for example, distinguish between a fake drug containing the same constituents as the authentic product but in a different formulation, while the FTIR spectra of the two compounds may be so similar that they cannot be distinguished.


A variety of applications


Liquid fingerprinting has potential for a wide range of applications. Two particularly important uses – product authentication and quality control – are described below.


Product authentication

In addition to meeting stringent quality control requirements, the food and beverage industry has a need to detect adulterated and imitation products, ensuring the authenticity of all food and drink. For instance, a wine may be marketed as being a particular vintage or from a certain region, but how can you tell if this is really the case? Liquid fingerprinting may hold the key. By comparing, for example, the liquid fingerprint of a genuine Bordeaux wine with that of another wine, it is possible to establish whether or not the sample tested is authentic. If the fingerprints do not match, and the sample is actually a blend of different wines, then an indication of the percentage Bordeaux content can be obtained; a sample that is a close fingerprint match may contain 90 % Bordeaux wine, while a poor match may have just 50 %. This technique could equally well be applied to the determination of the authenticity of other alcoholic or soft drinks. In another experiment, a professional sommelier and a layman were asked to identify nine wines, simultaneously analyzing the same wines using liquid fingerprinting. The sommelier and the layman correctly identified most, but not all, of the wines; liquid fingerprinting, however, was 100 % correct, showing the effectiveness of the technique for this purpose.


Quality control

A recently published study performed in collaboration with Alko Oy, Finland’s national alcoholic beverage retailing monopoly [1], has demonstrated how liquid fingerprinting can provide crucial information to support decision making in the quality control of both wine-making processes and the end product. The technique has also been successfully used to distinguish between some other types of beverage [2], for example identification of the source of bottled waters according to their ion content, an application that could potentially be used for process monitoring in the oil and gas industry, where the ion content of oil-field produced waters must be analyzed.


Wide-ranging possibilities for future applications

Although, to date, the majority of studies have been performed using wine, investigations into the use of liquid fingerprinting for other applications is ongoing. In addition to the applications described above, the technique has so far been used to distinguish between genuine pesticides and imitation products containing the same active ingredient; between authentic drugs and fake counterparts comprising the same constituents but in a completely different formulation; and to identify spices, such as curry powder, where one of the more expensive ingredients has been omitted from the end product. In the future, there may also be potential for liquid fingerprinting to be applied to anti-doping control in sport. The possibilities are simply endless.


Contact us if you would like to learn more about the possibilities within your industry.


[1]J.J. Siivonen, P.I. Väisänen, S.A. Tiittanen, M.M. Lehmusto, P. Lehtonen, E. Patrikainen, T. Teimonen, N. Törnkvist, P. Mundill, P. Hänninen and H. Härmä.Novel non-specific liquid fingerprint technology for wine analysis: a feasibility study. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 20: 172–177.

[2] Pekka E. Hänninen, Joonas J. Siivonen, Pave I. Väisänen, Satu A. Tiittanen, Mirva M. Lehmusto,Timo Teimonen, Niklas Törnkvist, Mari A. Sandell, Antti J. Knaapila, Paul Mundill,and Harri J. Härmä. Fuzzy Liquid Analysis by an Array of Nonspecifically Interacting Reagents: The Taste of Fluorescence. J. Am. Chem. Soc2013, 135 (20), pp 7422–7425.

Meet our CTO Paul Mundill at SPE Workshop in Abu Dhabi 27-28 January 2015

January 21st, 2015 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

We are pleased to announce our CTO Paul Mundill is participating SPE workshop event focused on well integrity and productivity in Abu Dhabi 27-28th January 2015. Aqsens liquid analysis technology addresses one of the issues in regards to flow assurance; measuring residual scale inhibitor concentration in-field and in real time.

CTO Paul Mundill hopes to explore the notion that “Bringing reliable residual scale monitoring closer to the operations will give tangible improvement in quality and cost effectiveness to the operator

Please contact Paul Mundill directly if you would like to meet with him while he is in Abu Dhabi.

Paul Mundill

Tel. +358 45 256 3727



Oilfield scale inhibitor

Aqsens expanding Q technology in Oil and Gas to residual phosphonates

December 1st, 2014 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Aqsens has now completed the proof of product phase of a residual phosphonate monitoring application for oil and gas industry. The new oilfield monitoring application will expand the current Q product platform from the polymeric scale inhibitor monitoring to phosphonate.

In the new work, DETA phosphonate was quantified over the range of 0.5 to 10 ppm in a standard brine solution using the standard Aqsens Q platform. By using dilution protocols the range can be scaled to higher concentrations as required. The new product for residual phosphonate is available early in 2015.

We are looking for testing phase partners


Over the next 2 months we are inviting interested companies to submit typical samples to us for measurement. Once the sample testing phase is complete each participating company will receive a performance report and an opportunity to take part in the first user evaluations. Sales should be expected to follow in early 2015.


Sample information

The water samples should contain Deta phosphonate. Each sample should have a volume of 10ml and the following information should be supplied.

  • Supplying company sample ID code
  • Phosphonate measured level by ICP
  • Date when the sample was collected
  • Any stabilisation protocol or added chemical after the sample was collected

Additionally if possible it would be good to have a sample (100ml) of the same source of water with no added scale inhibitors for spiking studies.


Samples should be sent to

Aqsens Oy
Joonas Siivonen
Itainen pitkakatu 4 B, 4th floor
20540 TURKU – Finland

Currently the Aqsens Q platform offers polymeric scale inhibitor monitoring suitable for squeeze and continuous protocols. If you would like to arrange a user trial of this application then please contact us.

Oilfield Aqsens Technology

How to Improve Control Over Oilfield Performance

August 26th, 2014 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Few production problems are as critical as scale for oilfield. The effect of scale can be immediate and dramatic for oilfield operations, and the costs can be enormous in terms of lost production. Maintaining optimal level of scale inhibition (SI) treatment is important yet as the wells have individual characteristics which when combined with changes in the surrounding geology make the prediction of performance challenging. AQSENS™ has developed new way to tackle this challenge through onsite scale residual monitoring.


Changes in oilfield performance


Oilfield operators predict a (SI) return profile to each individual well based on it’s historical behaviour. The return curve is used to estimate when the well will start to form scale after a treatment. Normal cycle is anywhere from 3 to 12 months. As the wells are individuals like people, the profile of return curve is not fool-proof and therefore it is crucial to monitor deviations from the expected behaviour especially as it can affect the performance in under 24 hours.


There are two main reasons why a well would change their capacity to perform scale. One reason is somewhat naturally caused by the oil production process itself. When the oil is removed from a well, there is a possibility for water to invade the space in the oil pocket in the rock. This leads to increased risk of scale as it can cause more minerals to wash out than expected. The operators currently prepare for this scenario by setting the operative MIC higher than actual MIC and so either use excess chemistry or effectively shorted the squeeze cycle period.


Second reason why the well would change its behaviour unexpectedly is linked to breakthrough water. When oil is removed from the oil well, water is often injected to maintain the pressure and the oil recovery. This water can breakthrough unexpectedly into the oil pocket and in doing so can dramatically change the water chemistry and the risk of scaling. When it is a recognised risk, scale inhibitor is often added continuously down well in combination with a squeeze protocol.


Control onsite with AQSENS™


The balance of scale risk and SI chemistry applications is not a trivial management issue. Thus in all these situations measuring residual SI on regular and frequent basis according to the needs on individual wells will help in anticipating these changes in performance. This has been the inspiration for Aqsens team to design a technology that enables measuring infield with simple process that gives results while you are waiting, even in North Sea. By applying AQSENS™ monitoring solution on site real-time SI residual measurements can be used with traditional management tools to more cost effectively manage these situations.


AQSENS™ Technology is simply by design, accurate and onsite. It offers possibilities to measure SI residue levels throughout the squeeze cycle directly onsite. It is very accurate as it is able to measure down to 1 ppm the level of active polymeric SI (which is below the MIC for typical SI products), and giving the user the results within 15 minutes of taking the sample. This revolutionary technology is compact, easy to use and provides residual SI levels in a format compatible with current scale return analysis software. Measurement frequency can be managed for individual wells to optimise the updating of the actual squeeze return curve as well as giving early warning of breakthrough situations.


The data acquired with AQSENS™ Technology can be expected to improve the overall squeeze management through better optimisation of the chemistry and prediction of the end of the squeeze cycle. The resulting improvement in asset protection and operating efficiency should flow into extend lifetimes and improved asset performance. Contact us for more information.


Oil field production assurance

Improving Oil Recovery Operations On-Site

July 14th, 2014 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Scale formation in subsea production facilities is a common and chronic problem that needs to be reliably managed. Failure can seriously compromise flow assurance, lead to premature closure and reduce the lifetime of a well. The onset of scaling can be rapid and remedial action expensive. Within 24 hours production can fall from 30 000 B/D to zero due to scale (Wigg & Fletcher 1995). Novel Aqsens QS Technology™ improves subsea and onshore scale management by enabling scale inhibitor chemistry monitoring locally thus giving faster decision making on-site.


Harmony of Scale and Squeeze


Chemistries, such as scale inhibitor (SI) polymers, are used to prevent scaling by inhibiting the formation of scale. However, the SI concentration must be maintained constantly above the chemistries critical minimum level (MIC); typically for active inhibitor above 3 to 5 ppm, to maintain the protection.

Oil service companies use the squeeze protocol in many situations to deliver the scale inhibitor into a well. They are able to deliver an optimized amount of a scale inhibitor to maintain the level above the MIC by understanding the well’s dynamics and water production rate during the squeeze cycle. The squeeze cycles are typically 9 months and have 3 distinct phases with two critical moments – the burst and the heel.

The first phase in steering a squeeze model comes after 36 to 48 hours the initial squeeze procedure has completed. In the beginning of a squeeze, a large amount of free scale inhibitor is flushed out. The first critical measurements identify the “peak”, in which the SI levels can be 30000 times greater than the MIC level, is identified. These measurements enable to check the predicted scale return curve and to confirm the success of the squeeze.

Second critical phase comes after one to three weeks after squeeze, when the SI desorption slows down dramatically and reaches the heel point. Measurements at this point can be extremely useful for finetuning the predicted scale return curve giving an improved estimate of the length of the squeeze cycle. The final phase of the squeeze cycle starts after the heel where the scale inhibitor is slowly released from the rock formation as it sequesters the ions responsible for scale formation.

As long as the scale inhibitor is above the MIC throughout the oil recovery facility, it will be protected from scale formation. Measurements taken at the critical burst and heel points enable the end of the squeeze to be estimated – establishing the timeline for the next squeeze. Typically, operators want to understand when the concentrations have dropped below 100 ppm (parts per million), and then below 30 ppm of active inhibitor. These SI levels are good indicators of the overall risk level for scale protection.


Measuring the Risk of Scale


Currently the measurements of SI concentrations are carried out onshore using stabilised samples that usually have been transported by air then by road to the testing laboratory. If the sample has been taken incorrectly or not stabilised sufficiently or delayed during transfer, significant errors can occur in the final measurement.

Optimal SI measurements done on-site with fresh samples would give more opportunities for timely and reliable operational decisions in oilfield scale management. As this is challenging to carry out with current ways of working, a series of safety layers have been implemented to further lower the risk. Operators for example conservatively suggest that the value of SI should be 2 to 3 times above the MIC to indicate the impending end of a squeeze cycle. Still, decisions to close a well ahead of a new squeeze campaign is often taken against a background of uncertainty of the actual concentration of the scale inhibitor.

Measuring SI levels accurately, on-time and locally, is critical for successful oilfield management as the scale can have a rapid and expensive effects on oilfield operation. If the results could be obtained locally using fresh samples collected by existing protocols then the data could have a more direct impact on daily operational decisions.


AQSENS – Keeping the Data On-site


AQSENS™ technology is able to deliver tailored squeeze management with timely and on-site understanding of scale inhibitor levels.

The Aqsens technology design has been based on the principles of: simple, accurate, timely and on-site. It has incorporated high technology measurement optics with simple to use test cassettes so that with only minimal training an operator can obtain onshore laboratory quality and accuracy. Just 10 minutes after cooling down the sample the operator will have the actual SI concentration with the accuracy of 1 ppm.

As there is no need for sample stabilization, there are less chances to get the sample contaminated. New results can be immediately compared with previous measurements and the reference squeeze model to improve overall facility productivity. On top, testing of an individual well can be tailored and frequency of testing would be driven by the risk level – less testing above 100 ppm and more testing below 30 ppm and even daily as the MIC is approached.

The operator gains improved assurance on the effectiveness of the scale management and can better optimise the next squeeze campaign. In the end, a less conservative position in the end of the squeeze cycle could be reliably taken based on daily measurements after the SI concentration dips below 30 ppm. This would increase the flexibility for the start of the next squeeze campaign so improving the facilities productivity.

AQSENS QS Technology™ is able to provide the level of accuracy and sufficient range to also cover the burst and heel decision points. The performance results were reported in a poster at the SPE Scale Conference where core flood samples and oilfield samples were measured and compared with the reference laboratory methods. Find the publication here or ask us for more information.




Poster – Novel Method For Real-Time Monitoring of Scale Control Products at the Site of Use, at SPE International Oilfield Scale Conference and Exhibition, 14-15 May 2014, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Wigg, H. and Fletcher, M. 1995. Establishing the True Cost of Downhole Scale Control. Paper presented at the 1995 International Conference on Oilfield Scaling, Aberdeen, 20–21 November



Finnish Cleantech and Lifescience company Aqsens entering the global markets

May 13th, 2014 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

AQSENS™ is a technology startup delivering novel applications for qualitative and quantitative liquid analyses. Its Q technology will provide high level of sensitivity, ease of use together with unsurpassed accuracy even on-site. Company’s vision is to become a leading technology company in on-site liquid analyses applications focusing on Cleantech and Life-Science Businesses.

Company was founded in 2009. Its patented fingerprinting technology was developed during several years at the University of Turku.

First AQSENS™ application for detecting production chemistries in oilfield was co-developed with Kemira, a global chemicals company, serving customers in water-intensive industries.

For more information please contact:

Timo Teimonen
Aqsens Oy
Tel: +358 40 585 3105