Environmental Monitoring in CO2 Sensors

As a leading supplier of CO2 monitoring instrumentation, CO2Meter collaborates with organizations and institutions across a range of industries, leading professionals and customers.

All of these organizations and individuals share a singular goal: achieving accurate, precise and reliable gas concentration measurements for monitoring, safety or additional analysis in a range of different settings.

Environmental Monitoring in CO2 Sensors

Image Credit: CO2Meter, Inc.

One notable collaboration is with Nucfilm GmbH, a company in Cordast-Freiburg Switzerland that is owned by the environmentalist, Heinz Surbeck.

Nucfilm GmBH is focused on the development of environmental monitoring solutions for hydrogeology, radioactivity, spectrometry and aero radiometry applications. Heinz has specifically worked on monitoring environmental radioactivity over the past decade, relying on a range of sensors for accurate measurements.

Among the company’s array of interesting projects and case studies, the team at Nucfilm GmBH has recently developed a pipeline for an autonomous landfill monitor.

This system employed a series of CO2, O2, T, RH and P sensors controlled by a novel combination of an Arduino, RTC and an OpenLog which is used for data storage.

This work is highly reliant on the use of gas sensor technologies, with effective gas sensing central to the team being able to understand their findings and criteria. Should the project be successful, it is anticipated that 10 to 20 more systems will be produced by the end of the year.

CO2Meter recently had the opportunity to speak to Heinz Surbeck directly about the importance of carbon dioxide detection, gaining insight into his studies and his use of CO2Meter’s gas sensing solutions.

During this discussion, the importance of gas sensor technology was highlighted, both in terms of similar applications and similarly respected fields.

The discussion is presented below.

CO2Meter: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today, Heinz. Please tell us about your work in the environmental monitoring industry, how you became involved in this area, and about your current projects?

Heinz Surbeck: “I have a PhD in experimental physics from ETH-Zurich, I am former head of the Swiss Federal Environmental Radioactivity Lab and also a former lecturer at ETH-Zurich. I founded my company Nucfilm GmBH 10 years ago to avoid retirement and continue my interests.”

CO2Meter: Which fields are your specialisms?

Heinz Surbeck: “Environmental radioactivity, with a focus on lab capacity for analyzing radium and radon water samples. I have also done a lot of work in monitoring various gases in air, soil, and groundwater; primarily for waste dump and former industry site remediation. I am still working with Msc and PhD students to support them with fieldwork while also creating customized and custom-made instruments for a range of environmental projects.”

CO2Meter: In your experience, what has been the most significant change in the industry over the past five years?

Heinz Surbeck: “Overall, it has been the need to continue to support students in both Switzerland and Hungary in relation to their work in environmental monitoring and analysis.”

CO2Meter: Do your studies involve gases such as CO2 tend to focus more on compliance, safety, measurement, or analysis?

Heinz Surbeck: “Analysis, mainly.”

GC-0002, CU-1001, OX-0052, and GC-0025 CO2Meter sensing technologies used in the research.

GC-0002, CU-1001, OX-0052, and GC-0025 CO2Meter sensing technologies used in the research.

Image Credit: CO2Meter, Inc.

CO2Meter: What has been your experience using CO2Meter sensors, and how have these performed in your specific field?

Heinz Surbeck: “I used CozIR CO2 sensors for many years, more recently moving to CO2Meter’s optical CO2 sensors and CH4 sensors for field measurements. I struggled to find an alternative to the CozIR sensors and expensive CH4 sensors but I was lucky to discover the CO2Meters website which offered sensors to meet our needs for further analysis.”

Octocopter instrument.

Octocopter instrument.

Image Credit: Nucfilm GmbH

CO2Meter: As technologies continue to emerge and change, what trends are you specifically seeing in your industry?

Heinz Surbeck: “Gas sensors with acceptable performance such as those offered by CO2Meter have become much more affordable. This is especially important for instruments used in university research as my students’ financial resources can be somewhat limited.”

CO2Meter: How can readers find out more about your research and work?

Heinz Surbeck: “You can find details of our case studies and research projects our company website.” [link: http://www.nucfilm.ch/index.html]

Industry feedback from key partners and customers such as Nucfilm GmBH is central to understanding the significant and ever-evolving impact of carbon dioxide and other gas sensing technologies on research advances across multiple fields.

Inert gases also play a critical role in industries, such as environmental monitoring. These gases must be measured to maintain consistent levels in aquaculture, greenhouses, or even hydroponics.

The research currently being undertaken by Heinz and his students is just one example of academic institutions looking for high-quality gas sensing technologies which are central to their applicational studies, fieldwork and research outcomes.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by CO2Meter, Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit CO2Meter, Inc.

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