Low cost sensors for CO2 and CH4 concentration measurements

The purpose of using low-cost sensors in TRACE is to quantify the CO2 and CH4 emissions from industrial sites and urban sources in the waste sector (landfill, sewage collection networks) and in the oil and gas upstream and downstream sectors (refineries, chemical industry and oil and gas extraction).

The issue of controlling and reducing GHG emissions has been continuously rising up the agenda of the international community culminating in the Paris Agreement of 2015. The industrial partners of TRACE have responded: SUEZ - Recyclage et Valorisation targets aim to reduce environmental impacts by avoiding 2 tons of CO2 emissions for every ton of CO2 emitted in their operations. Ahead of the COP21, TOTAL has called upon the United Nations to introduce a carbon-pricing framework and create clear stable ambitious policy frameworks to encourage a cost-effective reduction of carbon emissions. The new ability of researchers to estimate GHG emissions based on atmospheric observations opens the door for a system to verify and benchmark mitigation efforts.

Currently, sustainable GHG services are often hindered by significant cost for one observational point (station) when using research-grade GHG sensors (ca. 50k€). Therefore, LSCE has worked with SMEs to identify suitable low-cost GHG sensors (<1k€) based on Non Dispersive Infrared (NDIR) and system-on-chip technology. These sensors will, with the help of TRACE, be incorporated into accurate prototype instruments and those prototypes integrated in measurement platforms (drone, arrays of stations with wire-less communication). For mobile applications open path CH4 instruments have been pre-identified as key technology that will be matured in a close exchange with manufacturers. TRACE will also have the unique possibility of using novel lower-cost open path GHG instruments (100m-200m) based on laser dispersion spectroscopy. Low-cost sensors will be exposed to stringent performance tests, and evaluated against ultra-precise research-class instruments at the GHG metrology laboratory of LSCE. Several low-cost sensor manufacturers are engaged with the project and committed to constantly improving their products.

Mid IR source/MUX

CO2 Low cost sensors

(1st release)

CO2 Low cost sensors

(2nd release)

Photoacoustic (QEPAS) CH4 sensor prototype

 Metrology Laboratory  Environmental test chamber  Metrological Test  Reference instruments