The SolidSense sensor platform measures all EPA-regulated gas emissions (nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons), in addition to ammonia, with high accuracy and sensitivity. The chip-scale gas analyzer provides real-time diagnostics, and is suitable for monitoring emissions from diesel and gasoline engines, turbines, steam power plants, and other combustion technologies.

A prototype of the SolidSense gas analyzer.

Designed to operate in hostile high-temperature combustion environments, SolidSense operates without the need for cooling or filtration. The ceramic-based, mixed-potential sensor comprises three electrodes connected to an artificial neural network. The differences between the catalytic activities of the electrodes for the electrochemical oxidation/reduction of the target gases provide the signals for concentration determination. The artificial neural network provides signal processing to determine compound concentration from sensor electrode output voltages.

The device enables real-time diagnostics with response times less than 1/100 of a second. SolidSense provides valuable exhaust chemistry feedback that can assist in improving combustion efficiency for engines, turbines, and power plants.

The sensor's ceramic platform enables easy manufacturing through thick-film, high-temperature, co-fired ceramic technology. It also has potential applications in explosives detection, and can be integrated into a handheld device to provide a molecular fingerprint of explosive compounds.

There is no cross-interference from CO2 or H2O, and no sampling lag time. The device enables direct operation in exhaust gas streams, and does not require frequent recalibration.

For more information, contact Sandia National Laboratories at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit here .


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This article first appeared in the February, 2018 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

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