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Scientists create small ozone sensor

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Freiburg, Germany (UPI) Jan 27, 2009
German scientists say they've developed a highly sensitive, miniaturized mobile ozone sensor that can operate in the air or water.

The researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics note ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent and can cause a wide range of symptoms in humans, including headaches, coughing and even deterioration in lung function.

"Since ozone is, at the same time, an agent with high application potential, novel sensors are required, which have to be compact and affordable," Fraunhofer project manager Volker Cimalla said. "Sensors are essential equipment in industrial settings such as wastewater treatment facilities and water sterilization units, where they are used to monitor the ozone concentration -- firstly to ensure the required concentration for the relevant application is maintained, and secondly to guard against exceeding hazardous thresholds for humans."

Cimalla said the newly developed sensor is capable of measuring low ozone levels that occur in environmental and ambient air monitoring just as accurately as the high levels associated with industrial process control. And, he added, since the sensor is extremely small, it can even be integrated into mobile equipment.

The sensor's capabilities are detailed in the January issue of Fraunhofer Research News.

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