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Sensors (Basel). 2017 Aug 19;17(8). pii: E1916. doi: 10.3390/s17081916.

Development and Evaluation of A Novel and Cost-Effective Approach for Low-Cost NO₂ Sensor Drift Correction.

Author information

1
School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China. lisun4-c@my.cityu.edu.hk.
2
School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China. danewest03@gmail.com.
3
School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China. zhining@cityu.edu.hk.
4
Guy Carpenter Climate Change Centre, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China. zhining@cityu.edu.hk.

Abstract

Emerging low-cost gas sensor technologies have received increasing attention in recent years for air quality measurements due to their small size and convenient deployment. However, in the diverse applications these sensors face many technological challenges, including sensor drift over long-term deployment that cannot be easily addressed using mathematical correction algorithms or machine learning methods. This study aims to develop a novel approach to auto-correct the drift of commonly used electrochemical nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) sensor with comprehensive evaluation of its application. The impact of environmental factors on the NO₂ electrochemical sensor in low-ppb concentration level measurement was evaluated in laboratory and the temperature and relative humidity correction algorithm was evaluated. An automated zeroing protocol was developed and assessed using a chemical absorbent to remove NO₂ as a means to perform zero correction in varying ambient conditions. The sensor system was operated in three different environments in which data were compared to a reference NO₂ analyzer. The results showed that the zero-calibration protocol effectively corrected the observed drift of the sensor output. This technique offers the ability to enhance the performance of low-cost sensor based systems and these findings suggest extension of the approach to improve data quality from sensors measuring other gaseous pollutants in urban air.

KEYWORDS:

electrochemical sensor; sensor drift; zero correction

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