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Sensor Rapidly Measures the Concentration of Oxygen in Fluids

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing SummaryTo provide rapid measurement of oxygen concentrations in fluids, ORNL researchers developed a sensor that measures oxygen in temperatures from 0 degrees Celsius up to the 200 degrees Celsius commonly found in intake manifolds. The sensor can be used in a variety of applications to quickly and inexpensively detect oxygen levels, including internal combustion engines, medical monitors, and marine biology measurement technologies.

Compared to current sensor technology, such as universal exhaust gas oxygen sensors and paramagnetic oxygen analyzers, the invention supports more rapid measurements over a broader temperature range. The timing can also be controlled to measure a specific oxygen concentration at any point in the engine cycle.DescriptionThe invention features an excitation light source, which could be a light emitting diode or a fluorescent device. The source transmits light inside a fluid, such as a gasoline/air mixture inside the intake manifold of an engine, to a transducer via a fiber optic cable. The transducer is a material that emits light as it transitions between energy states. A spectrometer light detector is also attached, via another fiber optic cable, to the transducer. The detector receives the transducer signals and processes them to determine the concentration of oxygen in the fluid.Benefits• Rapid O2 measurement
• Can measure over a broad temperature range (0-200 C)
• Inexpensive and minimally invasive
• Functions in an engine manifold (soot, hydrocarbons, H2O, etc.)
• Timing can be synchronized with points in the engine cycle
Applications and Industries• Engine manufacturers and engineering research
• Engine performance testing for fuel efficiency, and emissions, including on- board diagnostics
• Installation in engines or vehicle systems
• Broader application to other engine types and fuel cells
• Medical and marine biology measurement technologies
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 8,248,612
Oxygen concentration sensors and methods of rapidly measuring the concentration of oxygen in fluids
Provided are sensors and methods of measuring the oxygen concentration of a fluid. An excitation light source is in optical communication with a transducer for transmitting an excitation light that is at least partially absorbed by the transducer. The transducer has a property of photoluminescence, and enters a higher energy state by at least partially absorbing the excitation light and enters a lower energy state through radiation of emitted light, thus producing spectral indicia. A light detection system, which is also in optical communication with the transducer, processes the spectral indicia to determine the concentration of oxygen in the fluid.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory 08/21/2012
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
UT-B ID 200701962DevelopmentAvailable10/04/201110/04/2011

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To: David L. Sims<>