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Proceedings Paper

A VCSEL based system for on-site monitoring of low level methane emission
Author(s): A. Kannath; J. Hodgkinson; R. G. Gillard; R. J. Riley; R. P. Tatam
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Paper Abstract

Continuous monitoring of methane emissions has assumed greater significance in the recent past due to increasing focus on global warming issues. Many industries have also identified the need for ppm level methane measurement as a means of gaining carbon credits. Conventional instruments based on NDIR spectroscopy are unable to offer the high selectivity and sensitivity required for such measurements. Here we discuss the development of a robust VCSEL based system for accurate low level measurements of methane. A possible area of application is the measurement of residual methane whilst monitoring the output of flare stacks and exhaust gases from methane combustion engines. The system employs a Wavelength Modulation Spectroscopy (WMS) scheme with second harmonic detection at 1651 nm. Optimum modulation frequency and ramp rates were chosen to maintain high resolution and fast response times which are vital for the intended application. Advanced data processing techniques were used to achieve long term sensitivity of the order of 10-5 in absorbance. The system is immune to cross interference from other gases and its inherent design features makes it ideal for large scale commercial production. The instrument maintains its calibration and offers a completely automated continuous monitoring solution for remote on site deployment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 February 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7952, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XV, 79520F (7 February 2011);
Show Author Affiliations
A. Kannath, Cranfield Univ. (United Kingdom)
Geotechnical Instruments Ltd. (United Kingdom)
J. Hodgkinson, Cranfield Univ. (United Kingdom)
R. G. Gillard, Geotechnical Instruments Ltd. (United Kingdom)
R. J. Riley, Geotechnical Instruments Ltd. (United Kingdom)
R. P. Tatam, Cranfield Univ. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7952:
Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XV
James K. Guenter; Chun Lei, Editor(s)

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