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Title: Oxygen sensor for monitoring gas mixtures containing hydrocarbons

A gas sensor measures O.sub.2 content of a reformable monitored gas containing hydrocarbons H.sub.2 O and/or CO.sub.2, preferably in association with an electrochemical power generation system. The gas sensor has a housing communicating with the monitored gas environment and carries the monitored gas through an integral catalytic hydrocarbon reforming chamber containing a reforming catalyst, and over a solid electrolyte electrochemical cell used for sensing purposes. The electrochemical cell includes a solid electrolyte between a sensor electrode that is exposed to the monitored gas, and a reference electrode that is isolated in the housing from the monitored gas and is exposed to a reference gas environment. A heating element is also provided in heat transfer communication with the gas sensor. A circuit that can include controls operable to adjust operations via valves or the like is connected between the sensor electrode and the reference electrode to process the electrical signal developed by the electrochemical cell. The electrical signal varies as a measure of the equilibrium oxygen partial pressure of the monitored gas. Signal noise is effectively reduced by maintaining a constant temperature in the area of the electrochemical cell and providing a monitored gas at chemical equilibria when contacting the electrochemicalmore » cell. The output gas from the electrochemical cell of the sensor is fed back into the conduits of the power generating system.« less
Inventors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. (Pittsburgh, PA)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
870335
Assignee:
Westinghouse Electric Corporation (Pittsburgh, PA) NETL
Patent Number(s):
US 5498487
Contract Number:
AC21-80ET17089
Research Org:
WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORP
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
oxygen; sensor; monitoring; gas; mixtures; containing; hydrocarbons; measures; content; reformable; monitored; preferably; association; electrochemical; power; generation; housing; communicating; environment; carries; integral; catalytic; hydrocarbon; reforming; chamber; catalyst; solid; electrolyte; cell; sensing; purposes; electrode; exposed; reference; isolated; heating; element; provided; heat; transfer; communication; circuit; controls; operable; adjust; operations; via; valves; connected; process; electrical; signal; developed; varies; measure; equilibrium; partial; pressure; noise; effectively; reduced; maintaining; constant; temperature; providing; chemical; equilibria; contacting; output; fed; conduits; generating; reference gas; gas environment; oxygen sensor; sensor measures; constant temperature; containing hydrocarbons; reforming chamber; sensor electrode; power generating; oxygen partial; reforming catalyst; gas mixtures; heating element; gas containing; electrical signal; electrochemical cell; heat transfer; solid electrolyte; reference electrode; gas mixture; partial pressure; chamber containing; electrolyte electrochemical; power generation; monitored gas; gas sensor; mixtures containing; signal noise; electrochemical power; housing communicating; hydrocarbon reforming; signal varies; effectively reduced; containing hydrocarbon; /429/