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Sensors 2009, 9(2), 756-767; doi:10.3390/s90200756

Membrane Based Measurement Technology for in situ Monitoring of Gases in Soil

* ,
UFZ - Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research, T.-Lieser-Strasse 4, 06120 Halle, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 September 2008 / Revised: 19 January 2009 / Accepted: 21 January 2009 / Published: 2 February 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Germany)
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The representative measurement of gas concentration and fluxes in heterogeneous soils is one of the current challenges when analyzing the interactions of biogeochemical processes in soils and global change. Furthermore, recent research projects on CO2-sequestration have an urgent need of CO2-monitoring networks. Therefore, a measurement method based on selective permeation of gases through tubular membranes has been developed. Combining the specific permeation rates of gas components for a membrane and Dalton’s principle, the gas concentration (or partial pressure) can be determined by the measurement of physical quantities (pressure or volume) only. Due to the comparatively small permeation constants of membranes, the influence of the sensor on its surrounding area can be neglected. The design of the sensor membranes can be adapted to the spatial scale from the bench scale to the field scale. The sensitive area for the measurement can be optimized to obtain representative results. Furthermore, a continuous time-averaged measurement is possible where the time for averaging is simply controlled by the wall-thickness of the membrane used. The measuring method is demonstrated for continuous monitoring of O2 and CO2 inside of a sand filled Lysimeter. Using three sensor planes inside the sand pack, which were installed normal to the gas flow direction and a reference measurement system, we demonstrate the accuracy of the gas-detection for different flux-based boundary conditions.
Keywords: Green house gases; CO2-sequestration; Gas; Monitoring; Membrane; Perm-selectivity Green house gases; CO2-sequestration; Gas; Monitoring; Membrane; Perm-selectivity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Lazik, D.; Ebert, S.; Leuthold, M.; Hagenau, J.; Geistlinger, H. Membrane Based Measurement Technology for in situ Monitoring of Gases in Soil. Sensors 2009, 9, 756-767.

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