Air Pollution: Sensitive Detection of Ten Pollutant Gases by Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide Lasers

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Science  28 Jul 1972:
Vol. 177, Issue 4046, pp. 347-349
DOI: 10.1126/science.177.4046.347


Detection sensitivities of a few parts per billion for ten gaseous pollutants have been evaluated by measuring the strength of the absorption of infrared radiation from carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide lasers. Ethylene concentrations as small as 5 parts per billion have been detected in air. The measured absorption strengths indicate that in mixtures of pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide and water vapor, the sensitivity is reduced by overlapping absorption bands. However, calculations indicate that it should be possible to detect nitrogen dioxide concentrations of 0.01 part per million in the presence of water vapor concentrations of 105 parts per million.