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Greenhouse gases detection with quantum cascade Laser Photoacoustic Spectroscopy

: Rocha, M.; Sthel, M.; Silva, M. da; Schramm, D.; Vargas, H.; Miklos, A.

Air and Waste Management Association:
103rd Air and Waste Manager's Annual Conference & Exhibition, A&WMA 2010. Proceedings : 2010, Calgary
Pittsburgh, Pa.: A&WMA, 2010
Paper 148, 13 pp.
Air and Waste Management Association (Annual Conference) <103, 2010, Calgary>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IBP ()

The perspective of facing future Climate Changes due to Global Warming has been stimulating the scientific community to attend for the need of detecting and monitoring greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. According to the Fourth IPCC Assessment Report, published in 2007, sulphur hexafluoride and methane are two important greenhouse gases, with a radiative forcing of 0,52 W/m2 and 0,48 W/m2, respectively. Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) is a dielectric and almost non-reactive gas and, for this reason, it is widely employed as an electrical insulator in power distribution equipments, in magnesium industry and also in semiconductor industry. Methane (CH4) is produced by anaerobic decomposition of organic materials. Its main anthropogenic sources are ruminant breeding, rice agriculture, fossil fuel exploitation, landfills and biomass burning. In order to detect and monitor sulphur hexafluoride and methane, it is necessary the development of new methodologies and sensitive and selective techniques. In this study, we used laser photoacoustic spectroscopy for the detection of these gases. A homemade Laser Photoacoustic Spectrometer based on QC Lasers and a Differential Photoacoustic Cell was employed in order to determine the detection boundary of this system for methane and sulphur hexafluoride. It was achieved a detection limit of 1ppmV for CH4 and of 50 ppbV for SF6. These results confirm the high sensitivity and selectivity of the photoacoustic technique for the detection of these greenhouse gases.