System of Measuring Low Concentration Oxygen

Measurement of low concentration oxygen gas is very important in chemical processes where several kinds of material gas and fuel gas are used. If the concentration of combustible oxygen gas gets high, it might cause explosion, which will have vicious influence upon the whole process. So, real-time measurement of oxygen at low concentration is essential for taking proper measures.

Two common techniques for sensing oxygen at low concentration are luminescent optical sensing and electrochemical sensing. Both demonstrate high sensitivity to low concentration oxygen. Fluorescent oxygen sensing has seen widespread adoption thanks to its inherent stability. However, application of this technique is limited due to complicated fabrication and short life time. On the other hand, electrochemical sensors are widely used and available in different forms according to the demands of users.

A research team led by Choe Chol Man, an institute head at the Faculty of Electronics, made an amperometric oxygen sensor based on the electrochemical method to manufacture an oxygen concentration measuring instrument, and introduced a refrigerator and a gas cleaning instrument for removing the effect of interference elements, thus completing a system of measuring low concentration oxygen gas.

The left picture shows the construction of the oxygen sensor incorporating a cathode, an anode, an electrolyte solution and a gas permeable membrane, all of which affect the characteristics of the sensor. They used silver with good oxygen reduction characteristics as a cathode, and silver/silver chloride electrode as an anode. KCl saturation solution and PTFE thin film were selected as an electrolyte and a gas permeable membrane, respectively.

They introduced digital signal processing technology to remove atmospheric noises so that the instrument could work properly in any operation environment, thus ensuring the stability and reliability of the instrument. The right picture shows the installation of the system.

The specification of the system is as follows.

Measurable band: 0~10%

Response time: 30s

Accuracy: 0.1%