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New gas sensors for monitoring carbon dioxide sinks
Date:5/8/2008

This release is available in German.

Munich/Halle(Saale). A novel gas sensor system makes it possible to monitor large areas cost-effectively the first time. The patented gas sensor is based on the principle of diffusion, according to which certain gases pass through a membrane faster than others. Using a tube-like sensor it is possible to measure an average gas concentration value over a certain distance without influencing or distorting conditions in the measuring environment. If such sensors are laid in a particular pattern, it is possible to calculate the concentration of a gas over an area. The measuring tube can therefore replace a large number of individual sensors, making it much cheaper than previous methods.

The sensor was developed at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and is being presented for the first time at the 15th International Trade Fair for Water Sewage Refuse - Recycling (IFAT), which is taking place from 5 to 9 May in Munich.

Potential fields of application for the membrane-based gas sensors ("MeGa") are environmental remediation and landfill monitoring. But in future the technology could also be used to monitor gas pipelines, the formation of hydrogen sulphide in waterbodies or the underground injection of carbon dioxide. The principle can also be used in liquids, so the probe is also useful for monitoring waterbodies, including groundwater, and for monitoring boreholes. The slimline construction of the borehole and waterbody probe means that it can be used in gauges. The (permanent) connection to the part above ground allows data capture/evaluation to take place while the probe is submerged. A device with these features has never previously been available anywhere in the world. Another potential field of application is process monitoring in water treatment or in the food industry, e.g. in
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Contact: Tilo Arnhold
presse@ufz.de
49-341-235-1635
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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