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Hydrocarbon/Total Combustibles Sensor

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summarythe invention is an electrochemical hydrocarbon sensor that is more reliable and reproducible than any other hydrocarbon sensor on the market today. The patented method for producing the sensor ensures reproducibility and reduces the need for calibration of every sensor coming off the production line.DescriptionLiquefied petroleum gas (LPF) is transported around the world and stored every day. A small leak in a unit containing LPF can result in an explosion killing and destroying everything in its vicinity. Hydrocarbon sensors are used to monitor the level of hydrocarbons in the air outside storage units. Current sensors are either unreliable or highly inaccurate. LANL’s CO sensor is both accurate and reliable offering increased safety to those transporting and storing LPF.Benefits
  • Increases hydrocarbon sensors:
- Lifetime
- Reliability
- Accuracy
- Stability
- Reproducibility
  • Cost effective
  • Easy to manufacture
  • Tape casting method can be used
  • Low rejection rate
Applications and IndustriesWherever hydrocarbons in the air need to be monitored:
  •   Monitoring for leaks in tanks containing bottled gas (like propane)
  •   Warehouses
  •   Ships and tanker trucks transporting LPF
  •   Refineries
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 6,656,336
Method for forming a potential hydrocarbon sensor with low sensitivity to methane and CO
A hydrocarbon sensor is formed with an electrolyte body having a first electrolyte surface with a reference electrode depending therefrom and a metal oxide electrode body contained within the electrolyte body and having a first electrode surface coplanar with the first electrolyte surface. The sensor was formed by forming a sintered metal-oxide electrode body and placing the metal-oxide electrode body within an electrolyte powder. The electrolyte powder with the metal-oxide electrode body was pressed to form a pressed electrolyte body containing the metal-oxide electrode body. The electrolyte was removed from an electrolyte surface above the metal-oxide electrode body to expose a metal-oxide electrode surface that is coplanar with the electrolyte surface. The electrolyte body and the metal-oxide electrode body were then sintered to form the hydrocarbon sensor.
Los Alamos National Laboratory 12/02/2003
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
DOE S-97,844PrototypeAvailable - for Licensing03/28/201304/04/2013

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