Abstract

Measurements of NH3 and CO2 were made in bioreactor vent gases with distributed-feedback diode-laser sensors operating near 2 µm. Calculated spectra of NH3 and CO2 were used to determine the optimum transitions for interrogating with an absorption sensor. For ammonia, a strong and isolated absorption transition at 5016.977 cm-1 was selected for trace gas monitoring. For CO2, an isolated transition at 5007.787 cm-1 was selected to measure widely varying concentrations [500 parts per million (ppm) to 10%], with sufficient signal for low mole fractions and without being optically thick for high mole fractions. Using direct absorption and a 36-m total path-length multipass flow-through cell, we achieved a minimum detectivity of 0.25 ppm for NH3 and 40 ppm for CO2. We report on the quasi-continuous field measurements of NH3 and CO2 concentration in bioreactor vent gases that were recorded at NASA Johnson Space Center with a portable and automated sensor system over a 45-h data collection window.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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