A portable device for measuring trace amounts of ethylene is described.
Ethylene was trapped on a silver catalyst, which was then flash heated,
releasing a plug of ethylene into a flowing gas stream. The ethylene was
detected using an amperometric sensor with a gold–Nafion sensing
electrode. For a trap time of 10 min, a detection limit of 1 ppb of
ethylene was achieved. This compares with 40 ppb obtained using the sensor
without pretrapping. In addition to the improvement in sensitivity, the
trapping procedure also allowed improved selectivity, making the device
suitable for applications where very low levels of ethylene need to be
measured and interferents may be present.
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