Digital Refractometer for Propylene Glycol Analysis - HI96832

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The HI96832 is a rugged, portable digital refractometer designed for the measurement of percent volume and freezing point of propylene glycol based solutions. The HI96832 has a high accuracy of ±0.2% volume and ±0.5 °C freezing point and features simple operation that gives reliable results each and every time. All readings are automatically compensated for temperature variations and displayed with a 1.5 second response time. The sealed flint glass prism and stainless steel well are easy to clean. Just wipe with a soft cloth in preparation for the next sample.

The HI96832 Digital Refractometer utilizes the measurement of refractive index to determine the percent volume and freezing points of propylene glycol based solutions. Propylene glycol is used in glycol chillers and dispensing systems intended for food applications, such as beer and wine. Maintaining the appropriate percent of glycol is important in glycol chillers as too low of a percentage could lead to the system freezing and rupturing while too much glycol will reduce the systems efficiency. The instrument converts the refractive index of a sample to percent volume or freezing point. These conversions are based on internationally recognized references for unit conversion and temperature compensation for glycol solutions (e.g. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 87th Edition). The HI96832 is an easy-to-use tool for measuring freezing point and percent volume in propylene glycol solutions, on the production floor or in the lab.

  • Designed for propylene glycol analysis
  • Automatic Temperature Compensation
  • 0 - 100% Volume range with ±0.3% accuracy
  • 0 to -50 °C freezing point range with ±0.5 °C accuracy

Making a Standard Solution

To make an Ethylene Glycol Solution, follow the procedure below:

  • Place container (such as a glass vial or dropper bottle that has a cover) on an analytical balance.
  • Tare the balance.
  • Volumetrically add X mL of high purity ethylene glycol (CAS #: 107-21-1; MW 62.068) to a 100 mL Grade A volumetric flask.
  • Use distilled or deionized water to bring the flask close to the total volume, mix, allow the solution to return to room temperature.
  • Once the solution has returned to room temperature use distilled or deionized water to bring the total volume to 100 mL. Mix solution well before use.

Refractive Index

Refractive Index

The HI96832 takes measurements based on a sample’s refractive index. Refractive index is a measurement of how light behaves as it passes through the sample. Depending on the sample’s composition, light will refract and reflect differently. By measuring this activity with a linear image sensor, the sample’s refractive index can be assessed and used to determine its physical properties such as concentration and density. In addition to the linear image sensor, the HI96832 uses an LED light, prism and lens to make measurement possible. Variations in temperature will affect the density of a solution based on the compound that is present. In digital refractometry the use of temperature compensation is necessary for accurate results. The HI96832 contains a built-in temperature sensor and is programmed with temperature compensation algorithms in accordance with the ICUMSA Methods Book for a percent by weight sucrose solution. Glycol table

Measurement Units

Freezing point is displayed as a temperature from 0.0 to -50.0 °C corresponding to 0-58 % by volume. The display blinks the freezing point when the concentration of Ethylene glycol is greater than 78 % concentration by volume. When the display shows “LO”, the freezing point is at a minimum (below -50 °C).

Features at-a-glance:

One-point calibration

  • Calibrate with distilled or deionized water

Small sample size

  • Sample size can be as small as 2 metric drops (100 μl)

Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC)

  • Samples automatically compensated for temperature variations

Quick, accurate results

  • Readings are displayed in approximately 1.5 seconds

Dual-level LCD

  • The dual-level LCD displays measurement and temperature readings simultaneously
  • Stainless steel sample well Easy to clean and corrosion-resistant
  • Battery indicator Battery percent level remaining at startup and low battery indicator
  • Automatic shut-off To conserve battery life the meter shuts off automatically after three minutes of non-use
  • Stainless steel sample well Easy to clean and corrosion-resistant
  • IP65 water resistant protection Water resistant ABS plastic casing designed to perform under laboratory and field conditions.




Propylene Glycol Range 

0 to 100% 

Propylene Glycol Resolution 


Propylene Glycol Accuracy 

±0.3 % 

Freezing Point (FP) Range 

0 to -51°C (32 to -59.8°F) 

Freezing Point (FP) Resolution 

0.1°C (0.1°F) 

Freezing Point (FP) Accuracy 

±0.5°C (±1.0°F) 

Temperature Range 

0.0 to 80.0°C (32.0 to 176.0°F) 

Temperature Resolution 

0.1°C (0.1°F) 

Temperature Accuracy 

±0.3°C (±0.5°F) 

Automatic Shut-Off 

after three minutes of non-use 

Battery Type / Life  

9V / approximately 5000 readings 

Enclosure Rating 



192 x 102 x 67 mm (7.6 x 4.01 x 2.6”) 


420 g (14.8 oz.) 

Refractometer Light Source 

yellow LED 

Refractometer Temperature Compensation 

automatic between 10 and 40°C (50 to 104°F) 

Minimum Sample Volume 

100 μL (to cover prism totally) 

Sample Cell 

stainless steel ring and flint glass prism 

Measurement Time 

approximately 1.5 seconds 

Ordering Information 

Supplied with battery and instruction manual. 


2 years