Development of All-Solid-State Sensors for Measurement of Nitric Oxide and Ammonia Concentrations by Optical Absorption in Particle-Laden Combusion Exhaust Streams
Description: An all-solid-state continuous-wave (cw) laser system for ultraviolet absorption measurements of the nitric oxide (NO) molecule has been developed and demonstrated. For the NO sensor, 250 nW of tunable cw ultraviolet radiation is produced by sum-frequency-mixing of 532-nm radiation from a diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser and tunable 395-nm radiation from an external cavity diode laser (ECDL). The sum-frequency-mixing process occurs in a beta-barium borate crystal. The nitric oxide absorption measurements are performed by tuning the ECDL and scanning the sum-frequency-mixed radiation over strong nitric oxide absorption lines near 226 nm. The nitric oxide sensor has been used for measurements in the exhaust of a coal-fired laboratory combustion facility. The Texas A&M University boiler burner facility is a 30 kW (100,000 Btu/hr) downward-fired furnace with a steel shell encasing ceramic insulation. Measurements of nitric oxide concentration in the exhaust stream were performed after modification of the facility for laser based NOx diagnostics. The diode-laser-based sensor measurements showed good agreement with the results from physical probe sampling of the combustion exhaust. The diode-laser-based ultraviolet absorption measurements were successful even when the beam was severely attenuated by particulate in the exhaust stream and window fouling. Single-laser-sweep measurements were demonstrated with an effective time resolution of 100 msec, limited at this time by the scan rate of our mechanically tuned ECDL system. Future planned modifications will lead to even faster response times at sensitivity levels at or below 1 ppm.
Date: September 24, 2003
Creator: Caton, Jerald A. & Annamalai, Kalyan
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