Researchers have developed a new sensor that could allow practical and low-cost detection of low concentrations of methane gas.
Researchers have developed a new sensor that could allow practical and low-cost detection of low concentrations of methane gas. Measuring methane emissions and leaks is important to a variety of industries because the gas contributes to global warming and air pollution.
“Agricultural and waste industries emit significant amounts of methane,” said Mark Zondlo, leader of the Princeton University research team that developed the sensor. “Detecting methane leaks is also critical to the oil and gas industry for both environmental and economic reasons because natural gas is mainly composed of methane.”
In The Optical Society (OSA) journal Optics Express, researchers from Princeton University and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory demonstrate their new gas sensor, which uses an interband cascade light emitting device (ICLED) to detect methane concentrations as low as 0.1 parts per million. ICLEDs are a new type of higher-power LED that emits light at mid-infrared (IR) wavelengths, which can be used to measure many chemicals.
“We hope that this research will eventually open the door to low-cost, accurate and sensitive methane measurements,” said Nathan Li, first author of the paper. “These sensors could be used to better understand methane emissions from livestock and dairy farms and to enable more accurate and pervasive monitoring of the climate crisis.”
Read more at The Optical Society
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