CO2Meter.com, a worldwide provider of atmospheric gas measurement equipment, has developed a new, low-cost combination carbon dioxide and methane gas level meter for use in the biogas industry. It can measure up to 100% methane (CH4) and 50% carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in real time, or can be used as a data-logger to record gas levels over time.
The meter is available in 2 versions: as a hand-held, battery-operated device, or in a permanently mounted NEMA4 enclosure. Both use a built-in micro-pump to take a sample via a tube port, measure the sample, and return it via a second tube port to form a closed-loop gas measurement system.
"Our CO2 and methane meter was developed after talking to dozens of engineers in the biogas industry," said Ray Hicks , President of CO2Meter.com. "They wanted to be able to measure these two primary biogases easily and inexpensively. I believe our meter meets that challenge."
The development of a nondispersive infrared (NDIR) sensor that combines high-concentration CO2 and CH4 measurement in a single unit has made this new instrument possible. It is the result of advanced manufacturing in midwave IR (MWIR) optics and special optical coatings not available until recently. In addition to its low power requirements, the sensor does not require the frequent calibration used in conventional thermal conductance measurement techniques.
Biogas is comprised primarily of methane and carbon dioxide. Although it occurs naturally in farm waste or in landfills, companies have begun producing biogas commercially using feed stock-like algae. The resulting methane can be burned, allowing biogas to be used as a fuel. Like natural gas, biogas can also be compressed for storage, or for powering motor vehicles. However, because biogas occurs naturally, it is classified as a renewable fuel.
In addition to the biogas industry, Hicks believes these meters will appeal to companies in the natural gas processing industry, for monitoring fermentation, and for agricultural CO2 up-take and analysis.