My first paper from my work in graduate school has been published about the properties of low cost gas sensors entitled: Precision and Limits of Detection for Selected Commercially Available, Low-Cost Carbon Dioxide and Methane Gas Sensors. The publication in the journal “Sensors” can be viewed directly at the publisher’s site. The article is open access, but if you have problems, feel free to ask me for a preprint. This article will be helpful for folks developing gas sensor equipment for environmental and health and safety applications. This is essentially the first chapter of my dissertation in paper form. More articles will follow this one if I can carve out the time to polish them.
The performance of a sensor platform for environmental or industrial monitoring is sensitive to the cost and performance of the individual sensor elements. Thus, the detection limits, accuracy, and precision of commercially available, low-cost carbon dioxide and methane gas concentration sensors were evaluated by precise measurements at known gas concentrations. Sensors were selected based on market availability, cost, power consumption, detection range, and accuracy. A specially constructed gas mixing chamber, coupled to a precision bench-top analyzer, was used to characterize each sensor during a controlled exposure to known gas concentrations. For environmental monitoring, the selected carbon dioxide sensors were characterized around 400 ppm. For methane, the sensor response was first monitored at 0 ppm, close to the typical environmental background. The selected sensors were then evaluated at gas concentrations of several thousand ppm. The determined detection limits accuracy, and precision provides a set of matrices that can be used to evaluate and select sensors for integration into a sensor platform for specific applications.