ECVT Applications

Electrical Capacitance Volume Tomography (ECVT) is an industrial imaging tool applicable to energy, aerospace, automotive, pharmaceutical, process engineering, CFD verification, and academics and research. It is also an invaluable tool used in fluidized beds, chemical reactions, mixing, drying, filtration and industrial 3D imaging.


Multiphase flows and multiphase reactors are commonly encountered in energy industry operations. Such operations include coal gasifiers, carbon capture processes, combustion chambers, oil refineries, oil drilling, pipe line transport, and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The inherently complex nature of multiphase flows requires a multi-dimensional measurement technique capable of providing real time monitoring of process dynamics and physical properties of the flow. Electrical Capacitance Volume Tomography (ECVT) through its real-time imaging, flexible sensor, non-invasive probes, suitability for up-scale applications, and affordable cost provides a solution in these regards. Moreover, the applicability of capacitance sensors in hot environments enables visualization of combustion processes, fuel burning, emissions control, and optimization of energy generation.


Electrical Capacitance Volume Tomography (ECVT) is an electric based industrial imaging system. Its electric nature, low frequency, portability, safety, low profile sensors, and high imaging speed make it suitable for space applications of zero gravity. ECVT has already been applied to imaging Cryogenic Fuel Gauge in zero gravity environments. ECVT can also be used as an observation and control tool for scientific experiments in space. Examples of potential applications are imaging multi-phase flows in zero gravity, fuel tank observation in zero gravity, flow measurements, and combustion imaging. The feasibility of ECVT for real-time, 3D imaging of multi-phase flow systems have been established through tests exhibiting zero gravity conditions.


The low profile nature and durability of capacitance sensors enable them to be integrated in combustion engines. Applying ECVT imaging inside engines enables design and control of combustion, observation of fuel burning and mixing, control of ignition and fuel/air supply toward more efficiency.


Drug manufacturing often involves multi-phase flow system. Scalability and flexibility of ECVT sensors provide an invaluable tool to monitoring various phases of dug manufacturing. ECVT capacitance sensors can be designed to visualize flow, mixing, and reaction in the manufacturing process. They can also be scaled to monitor packaging of manufactured drugs. Further down scale of ECVT capacitance sensors enable internal detection of tablet.

Process Engineering

ECVT technology in process engineering can be used as a diagnostic of control tool. Enhancing efficiencies through process visualization is also a major application. The ability of ECVT technology to provide real-time 3D data that can be fed to a control unit provides controllability measures as well as robust process control. Process operations can also benefit from capacitance imaging by providing real-time optimization.

CFD Verification

A prime application for ECVT imaging is in verification of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes. ECVT has also been used to develop models from 3D real-time images of flows. As example of such applications include the recent development of a model for estimating penetration length and size of a side jet into a gas-solid fluidized bed. The model can also be coupled with CFD codes used to model the same phenomena.

Academics & Research

ECVT technology has been extensively used in academics and research settings. Applications include visualization of flow in circulating fluidized beds (CFB), gas-solid turbulent fluidized beds, gas-solid riser flow, gas-liquid bubble column, gas-liquid-solid slurry bubble column, and trickle bed reactors. ECVT capacitance sensors, through their flexible design, were also used to image flow through side injections, entrance and exit regions, and bent sections. ECVT reconstructed volume images are also being used to develop flow models, verify computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, and discover new flow behaviors.

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