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9 May 2012 Laser photoacoustic sensor for air toxicity measurements
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US EPA's Clean Air Act lists 187 hazardous air pollutants (HAP) or airborne toxics that are considered especially harmful to health, and hence the measurement of their concentration is of great importance. Numerous sensor systems have been reported for measuring these toxic gases and vapors. However, most of these sensors are specific to a single gas or able to measure only a few of them. Thus a sensor capable of measuring many of the toxic gases simultaneously is desirable. Laser photoacoustic spectroscopy (LPAS) sensors have the potential for true broadband measurement when used in conjunction with one or more widely tunable laser sources. An LPAS gas analyzer equipped with a continuous wave, room temperature IR Quantum Cascade Laser tunable over the wavelength range of 9.4 μm to 9.7 μm was used for continuous real-time measurements of multiple gases/chemical components. An external cavity grating tuner was used to generate several (75) narrow line output wavelengths to conduct photoacoustic absorption measurements of gas mixtures. We have measured various HAPs such as Benzene, Formaldehyde, and Acetaldehyde in the presence of atmospheric interferents water vapor, and carbon dioxide. Using the preliminary spectral pattern recognition algorithm, we have shown our ability to measure all these chemical compounds simultaneously in under 3 minutes. Sensitivity levels of a few part-per-billion (ppb) were achieved with several of the measured compounds with the preliminary laboratory system.
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Coorg R. Prasad, Jie Lei, Wenhui Shi, Guangkun Li, Ilya Dunayevskiy, and C. Kumar N. Patel "Laser photoacoustic sensor for air toxicity measurements", Proc. SPIE 8366, Advanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies IX, 836608 (9 May 2012);

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