|Current Research Projects|
Nitrogen Dioxide Analyzer
There currently is a great need for an direct measure of NO2 in the atmosphere. Because of its toxicity, NO2 is one of the six EPA Criteria pollutants and is regulated by the Clean Air Act. Most commonly, NO2 is measured by converting NO2 to NO using a heated molybdenum converter (as in our Model 401) or by photolysis and the NO measured by chemiluminescence with ozone or in our Model 410 by depletion of ozone in the reaction of NO with ozone. Because the atmosphere always contains NO as well, in most analyzers NO2 is obtained by the difference between NOx (NO + NO2) and NO. Both types of conversion have high power requirements, and the accuracy for NO2 is reduced because of the indirect nature of the measurement. Molybdenum converters are known to convert other nitrogen-containing species as well, such as nitrous acid (HONO), and photolytic converters typically convert only ~50% of the NO2 with a variable efficiency that is dependent on ambient ozone levels. For these reasons, we are developing a direct photometric method that will yield the NO2 concentration directly with high accuracy. Like all of other instruments, this will be a small, highly portable instrument with low power consumption. We hope to introduce our new NO2 Analyzer in late 2012.
Low Power Photochemical Converter for NO2
For those customers who already have our NO/NOx Monitor, we are developing a low power (~5 watt) photochemical converter (to replace molybdenum converters) that converts ~100% of NO2 to NO. This converter, which is currently being tested, will work in chemiluminescence instruments as well and will provide a low cost alternative to the LED photolytic converters recently developed. We will provide more details once our patent application on this new converter is filed.
Dissolved Ozone in "Dirty" Water
Accurate measurements of dissolved ozone are currently limited to ultra high purity water. Because of other UV absorbing interferences, direct measurements of ozone in water undergoing treatment currently is not possible. We are researching a novel method to overcome this difficulty so that direct UV measurements of ozone may be made.
Enhanced GO3 Package: Addition of CO2, Black Carbon, Particle Counter, Solar and UV-B Radiation and Stratospheric Ozone Column
We currently have more than 80 schools, including 30 international schools, participating in the Global Ozone Project. In the "GO3 Project" students measure ground-level ozone outside their schools along with weather parameters and upload their data every 15 minutes to the GO3 database for online graphing and display on Google Earth. We recently added CO2 and Black Carbon as optional species to be measured in the CO2 Experiment and Black Carbon Experiment, respectively. In the near future we intend to develop instruments for students to measure particle counts that correspond approximately to PM2.5 and PM10, a photometer for measuring solar and UV-B radiation and a Dobson spectrophotometer for measuring the ozone column.
Carbon Monoxide Monitor
Perhaps one of the most needed new detectors for atmospheric research at present is a portable instrument capable of measuring CO at the low ppb level. We are exploring several ideas for ways to measure CO with high precision and accuracy and hope to introduce a product in the not too distant future.