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Optica Publishing Group
  • Applied Spectroscopy
  • Vol. 70,
  • Issue 6,
  • pp. 1063-1071
  • (2016)

Minute Concentration Measurements of Simple Hydrocarbon Species Using Supercontinuum Laser Absorption Spectroscopy

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Abstract

Minute concentration measurements of simple hydrocarbon gases are demonstrated using near-infrared supercontinuum laser absorption spectroscopy. Absorption-based gas sensors, particularly when combined with optical fiber components, can significantly enhance diagnostic capabilities to unprecedented levels. However, these diagnostic techniques are subject to limitations under certain gas sensing applications where interference and harsh conditions dominate. Supercontinuum laser absorption spectroscopy is a novel laser-based diagnostic technique that can exceed the above-mentioned limitations and provide accurate and quantitative concentration measurement of simple hydrocarbon species while maintaining compatibility with telecommunications-grade optical fiber components. Supercontinuum radiation generated using a highly nonlinear photonic crystal fiber is used to probe rovibrational absorption bands of four hydrocarbon species using full-spectral absorption diagnostics. Absorption spectra of methane (CH4), acetylene (C2H2), and ethylene (C2H4) were measured in the near-infrared spectrum at various pressures and concentrations to determine the accuracy and feasibility of the diagnostic strategy. Absorption spectra of propane (C3H8) were subsequently probed between 1650 nm and 1700 nm, to demonstrate the applicability of the strategy. Measurements agreed very well with simulated spectra generated using the HITRAN database as well as with previous experimental results. Absorption spectra of CH4, C2H2, and C2H4 were then analyzed to determine their respective measurement accuracy and detection limit. Concentration measurements integrated from experimental results were in very good agreement with independent concentration measurements. Calculated detection limits of CH4, C2H2, and C2H4 at room temperature and atmospheric pressure are 0.1%, 0.09%, and 0.17%, respectively.

© 2016 The Author(s)

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