Types of Oxygen Detectors

Oxygen is a vital element that sustains most life on Earth. However, when oxygen levels drop too low it can cause suffocation or even death. An oxygen detector continuously monitors the air in a room and alerts people to decreasing oxygen levels. Oxygen sensors are used in many applications including medical equipment such as anesthesia monitors, respirators and oxygen concentrators. They are also used in the automotive industry to measure oxygen levels in exhaust gases in order to calculate and dynamically adjust the air/fuel ratio to optimize engine performance. They are also used in a variety of laboratory applications including photosynthesis and respiration measurements.

There are a number of different types of oxygen detectors available on the market. The most common is a Clark cell sensor with an oxygen-permeable membrane connected to an anode and cathode immersed in an electrolyte. When oxygen passes through the membrane it causes a chemical reaction at the anode and cathode that generates an electric current. A transmitter interprets this voltage into a readable oxygen reading.

Ensuring Purity: The Role of Oxygen Analyzers in Various Industries

Other types of oxygen sensors use lasers or electrochemical technologies. These sensors are often much faster than Clark cell sensors but do not have the same long lifetime compared to electrochemical sensors. Other disadvantages are lower accuracy, shorter wavelength and susceptibility to other gas interference.

A final type of oxygen sensor measures ambient air with a platinum-doped zirconia sensor that fluoresces when exposed to oxygen. This sensor is very fast, has an extremely wide dynamic range and is sensitive to vibrations which make it ideal for a distributed configuration.


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