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      A gas sensor is a device that can detect the type of gas and its concentration-related information, and convert it into an electrical signal output. Nowadays, with the increasing attention paid to environmental protection, gas sensors play an indispensable role in environmental monitoring. This paper will discuss the principle of gas sensor and its application in environmental monitoring in order to improve the understanding of this field.


      Principle of gas sensor:


      The working principle of the gas sensor is based on the interaction between the gas molecules and the materials inside the sensor. Different types of gas sensors use different working principles, common catalytic combustion type, semiconductor type, electrochemical type, thermal conductivity type and infrared absorption type.


      Catalytic combustion gas sensor: Using the thermal effect principle of flameless combustion of combustible gas under the action of catalyst, the volume fraction of combustible gas is measured. The sensor has high sensitivity and selectivity for the detection of combustible gas.


      Semiconductor gas sensor: The use of some metal oxide semiconductor materials, at a certain temperature, the conductivity changes with the environmental gas composition of the principle of manufacturing. This type of sensor has a high sensitivity to specific gases, such as tin dioxide is sensitive to alcohol, carbon monoxide and other gases.


      Electrochemical gas sensor: By measuring the current to detect the concentration of gas. It uses the working principle of the galvanic cell to quantitatively measure the gas through the relationship between the current generated by the measured gas in electrolysis and the concentration of the measured gas. This sensor has high accuracy for the detection of toxic and harmful gases.


      Gas sensors in environmental monitoring should:


      Environmental monitoring is an important means to protect the environment, and gas sensors, as one of the key equipment for environmental monitoring, play an important role in air quality monitoring, industrial production safety monitoring and indoor environmental monitoring.


      Air quality monitoring

      Air quality monitoring is one of the important applications of gas sensors. Through the real-time monitoring of various pollution gases in the atmosphere, the air quality status can be understood, and scientific basis for environmental protection and management can be provided. Gas sensors can detect sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, volatile organic compounds and other pollutants to help monitoring departments grasp the air quality situation in a timely manner, issue early warning information, and guide the public to take protective measures.


      In addition, gas sensors can be used for pollution source monitoring and emission control. Through real-time monitoring of pollution sources such as industrial emissions and vehicle exhaust, excessive emissions can be found in time, and relevant units can take corrective measures to reduce pollutant emissions.


      Industrial production safety monitoring

      In the process of industrial production, many gases may cause harm to human health, such as flammable gases and toxic gases. The gas sensor can monitor the concentration of these gases in real time, and once the concentration is found to exceed the standard, it immediately sends an alarm signal to remind workers to take corresponding measures to ensure production safety.


      For example, in flammable and explosive places such as coal mines and petrochemical industries, gas sensors can monitor the concentration of combustible gases in real time to prevent fire and explosion accidents. In the case of a toxic gas leak, the gas sensor can respond quickly to activate the exhaust system or emergency evacuation procedures to protect the safety of workers.


      Indoor environmental monitoring

      Indoor environmental quality is closely related to People’s Daily life. Gas sensors can be used to detect the concentration of harmful volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde and benzene in indoor air, as well as pollutants such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. By monitoring these data in real time, people can understand the indoor air quality status and take corresponding measures to improve the indoor environment and protect health.


      In addition, gas sensors can also be applied to smart home systems. Through the linkage with air conditioning, fresh air system and other equipment, indoor air quality can be automatically adjusted and optimized to improve living comfort.


      The development trend of gas sensors:


      With the growing demand for environmental monitoring and the continuous advancement of technology, gas sensors are developing in the direction of higher sensitivity, higher selectivity, lower power consumption and more intelligence.


      High sensitivity and selectivity: Through the development of new materials and new processes, the sensitivity and selectivity of gas sensors are improved, so that they can detect the target gas more accurately and reduce the false positive rate.


      Low power consumption: With the development of the Internet of Things and wireless sensor networks, gas sensors need to have lower power consumption to meet the needs of long-term, continuous monitoring.


      Intelligence: By integrating more functions, such as data processing, communication, self-calibration, etc., the gas sensor has a higher level of intelligence and can independently complete more complex tasks.




      As one of the key equipment of environmental monitoring, gas sensor plays an important role in air quality monitoring, industrial production safety monitoring and indoor environment monitoring. With the continuous progress of technology and the continuous expansion of application fields, gas sensors will play a greater role in the future, providing strong support for environmental protection and sustainable development. At the same time, we also need to pay attention to the development and innovation of gas sensors to promote their breakthroughs in higher sensitivity, higher selectivity, lower power consumption and more intelligent, and make greater contributions to the cause of environmental monitoring.

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