09/03/2007

Device Could Allow Drivers to Monitor Emissions

In future drivers may only have to glance at the dashboard to see the pollution
spewing out of their vehicle's exhausts.

A team from The British University of Manchester has constructed a laser
measuring device capable of recording levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide
and methane from directly inside an exhaust system, according to an
announcement by the university.

Once optimized, the process could be incorporated into onboard diagnostic
systems that would monitor emissions as vehicles drive along -- and potentially
help people reduce their emissions by adjusting their driving style.

Reporting in the Optical Society of America's journal Applied Optics, academics
claim this approach is faster and more sensitive than the extractive techniques
normally used to monitor emissions.

The team stated that the components for the device are readily available and
the near-IR technology allows highly accurate readings to be taken and also
cuts out interference.

In the studies reported in Applied Optics, the near-IR device used two diode
lasers operating at different frequencies; one detecting carbon monoxide and
carbon dioxide and the other detecting methane.

The next steps will be to fully quantify the technique and add additional
lasers for other key emissions such as nitrogen oxide, nitrogen dioxide and
specific hydrocarbons.

Further info


AplusA-online.de - Source: Environmental Protection