How to Use a Traditional Analog Handheld Refractometer


Different models of traditional analog refractometers have different internal scales on which to read fluid concentrations. Some instruments have specialized scales that indicate the exact mixture of the sample being tested, while others have an arbitrary unit of measure that works like a shorthand for refractive index measurements.

The instruction manual that comes with each refractometer carefully explains the procedure for comparing refractometer readings to the actual known concentrations or properties of your specific fluid. Trained MISCO technical support engineers are always available to assist you at any time.

How to Take a Reading With a Traditional Analog Refractometer

MISCO refractometers are easy-to-use and require little or no training. They can be mastered by ANYONE in just minutes.

  1. Place a drop of sample on the measuring surface beneath the ViewPoint Illuminator.
  2. Look through eyepiece and press the ViewPoint Illuminator.
  3. Take your reading at the point where the contrast line (difference between light and dark areas) crosses the scale.


How a Traditional Analog Refractometer Works

Light passing through a liquid is slowed compared to the speed it travels in air. So once a fluid sample is placed on the measuring surface of a refractometer, the light passing through it slows and is bent.

The refractometer focuses this bent light on a tiny internal scale. The scale is magnified by the eyepiece lenses so it is easily visible.

The optics are supported by a bi-metal strip that moves lenses in response to temperature changes, ensuring that readings are accurate regardless of temperature.



Gas Treatment (5)

Can the Palm refractometer be used to check Trieythelene Glycol?

Thanks for your question. The Palm Abbe digital refractometer can measure several triethylene glycol (TEG) physical properties including, percent by weight, percent by volume, freeze point, specific gravity, density, and boiling point.

I am interested in the refractometer. We use triethylene glycol for gas dehydration and I would like to know if this meter will tell us the % water in the glycol. We also use amine Ucarsol 302. The amine mix is 50% Ucarsol and 50% deionized water, will the refractometer check this mix?

Triethylene glycol (TEG) scales are available for the MISO Palm Abbe digital refractometer. You can select scales that measure percent by weight, percent by volume, freeze point, specific gravity, density, and boiling point. We also have a scales available for amines like, Diethanolomine (DEA), Diglycolamine (DGA), and Monoethanolomine (MEA). We don’t have a scale available for amine Ucarsol 302 but we would be happy to work with you to create one.

Category: Gas Treatment

I am wanting to find out if you have a handheld meter that can measure: TEG EG DEG PG MEA DEA DGA Any assistance that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Scales are currently available for the Palm Abbe digital refractometer that can measure EG (ethylene glycol), PG (propylene glycol), TEG (triethylene glycol), DEG (diethylene glycol), MEA (Monoethanolomine), DEA (Diethanolomine), and DGA (Diglycolamine). Please contact MISCO customer service for details on ordering, or see the Build-Your-Own section of our website.

We are interested in determining the level of ethylene glycol and triethylene glycol in the field and wonder if the PA203 is suitable to do that.

Yes, scales are available for the Palm Abbe digital refractometer for measuring both ethylene glycol (EG) and triethylene glycol (TEG). TEG scales are available for measuring percent by volume, percent by weight, freeze point, specific gravity (D20/20), and density. The same scales are available for ethylene glycol plus boiling point and percent water content. You can mix and match any five of these scales in the Palm Abbe PA203.

I have a gas dehydration system which used TEG. Typical concentrations of Tri-ethylene Glycol (TEG) vary from 88% to 98%. Do you have a device that could measure the concentration of TEG to within +/- 0.5%. The typically impurities are 1) water ( 2-12%) and 2) oil (300- 1000 ppm). Thanks in advance.

No problem. Our Palm Abbe digital refractometer can measure the percent concentration of triethylene glycol (TEG) in your dehydration system from 0 to 100 percent (+/- 0.1%). You can choose a scale for TEG percent by concentration or TEG percent water. The oil contaminate should not be a problem because the refractometer only measures in the parts per thousand (ppt) range, not in parts per million.