23 May 2022
23 May 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Characterization of inexpensive MOx sensor performance for trace methane detection

Daniel Furuta1, Tofigh Sayahi2, Jinsheng Li1, Bruce Wilson1, Albert A. Presto2, and Jiayu Li1 Daniel Furuta et al.
  • 1Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1390 Eckles Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108
  • 2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Abstract. Methane, a major contributor to climate change, is emitted by a variety of natural and anthropogenic sources. Commercially available lab-grade instruments for sensing trace methane are expensive, and previous efforts to develop inexpensive field-deployable trace methane sensors have had mixed results. Industrial and commercial metal oxide semiconductor (MOx) methane sensors, which are intended for leak detection and safety monitoring, can potentially be repurposed and adapted for low-concentration sensing. As an initial step towards developing a low-cost sensing system, we characterize the performance of five off-the-shelf MOx sensors for 2–10 ppm methane detection in a laboratory setting (Figaro Engineering TGS2600, TGS2602, TGS2611-C00, TGS2611-E00, and Henan Hanwei Electronics MQ4). We identify TGS2611-C00, TGS2611-E00, and MQ4 as promising for trace methane sensing, but show that variations in ambient humidity and temperature pose a challenge for the sensors in this application.

Daniel Furuta et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2022-110', Anonymous Referee #1, 24 May 2022 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Daniel Furuta, 06 Jun 2022 reply
      • RC2: 'Reply on AC1', Anonymous Referee #1, 14 Jun 2022 reply
        • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Daniel Furuta, 17 Jun 2022 reply

Daniel Furuta et al.

Data sets

Dataset for "Characterization of inexpensive MOx sensor performance for trace methane detection" Furuta, Daniel; Sayahi, Tofigh; Li, Jinsheng; Wilson, Bruce; Presto, Albert; Li, Jiayu

Daniel Furuta et al.


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Short summary
Methane is a major greenhouse gas and contributor to climate change, with various human-caused and natural sources. Currently, atmospheric methane is expensive to sense. We investigate repurposing cheap methane safety sensors for atmospheric sensing, finding several promising sensors and identifying some of the challenges in this approach. This work will help in developing inexpensive sensor networks for methane monitoring, which will aid in reducing methane leaks and emissions.