Russian scientists have developed an ultra-sensitive carbon dioxide sensor
Российские ученые 2
The scientists of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University (BFU) and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) have created a prototype of an optical carbon dioxide sensor, which can be used, after refinement, for determination of the CO2 concentration at carbon polygons.

The photo is sourced from minobrnauki.gov.ru

As says the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in its statement, the prototype is based on mathematical algorithm using the shallow neural networks. This approach made it possible to multiply the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) reflecting the impact the external factors make on the sensor consistency (the higher the SNR, the less distorted the data).

The development is unique due to the use of energy-efficient and durable semiconductor structures,” the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation quotes the words of Alexander Semenchi, Director of the Higher School of Physics and Technology of Materials of the Institute of Machinery, Materials, and Transport of SPbPU. “Using an optocoupler with a microlens as a sensing element, we were able to achieve a record-breaking performance in terms of durability, low power consumption and compactness. The world hasn’t got anything like such energy-efficient gas sensors.”

The BFU and SPbPU researchers are now conducting temperature tests and adjusting the prototype, based on which a full-fledged commercial analogue will be created by late 2022. The Russian company Microsensor Technology specialising in production of portable sensors will become an industrial partner. “Today we are already launching the process of patenting the software of our device, and the corresponding scientific article is also under review in the journal,” Maxim Demin, BFU Vice-Rector for scientific work is quoted by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

The sensor can be used at carbon polygons created for monitoring of carbon dioxide absorption. The first landfill of this kind was opened in the Tyumen region in August 2021. It covers 2.32 hectares with forests, lakes, swamps and artificial ecosystems. The CO2 concentration measurements carried out at the polygon by the specialists of Tyumen State University will help with identification of the tree crops most suitable for growing the forest plantations absorbing carbon dioxide.

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