New ‘MeGa’ sensor to monitor carbon dioxide concentration

May 9th, 2008 - 12:14 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 9 (IANS) A novel tube-like sensor would now make monitoring gas concentrations possible over a large area, both cheaply and effectively, doing the work of a number of existing sensors. Known as membrane-based gas sensors or ‘MeGa’, they are likely to be used in monitoring underground presence of carbon dioxide in gas pipelines or sewers.

The probe can also be useful in monitoring water bodies, for example, observation of hydrogen sulphide formation, including groundwater, and for monitoring boreholes.

Its slim body will also enable data gathering or evaluation when the probe is submerged. Arguably, these features have never previously been available anywhere in the world. Another potential field of application is process monitoring in water treatment or in breweries and dairies.

Researchers are hopeful that their system can also contribute to more intelligent ventilation of indoor spaces. An excessive level of carbon dioxide leads to fatigue and health problems, while excessive ventilation means a waste of energy.

In classrooms, lecture theatres of all kinds and in workplaces there are therefore recommendations that indoor air concentrations of noxious gases should be kept no higher than 1,000-3,000 parts per million.

“Monitoring these indoor air concentrations has failed so far because of a lack of suitable, reasonably priced measuring methods linked to appropriate ventilation technology,” explained Detlef Lazik from the UFZ or Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research which had developed these sensors.

They were presented at the International Trade Fair for Water - Sewage - Refuse - Recycling (IFAT) that concluded in Munich Friday.

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