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  1. Portable nitrous oxide sensor for understanding agricultural and soil emissions

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is the third most important greenhouse gas (GHG,) with an atmospheric lifetime of ~114 years and a global warming impact ~300 times greater than that of carbon dioxide. The main cause of nitrous oxide’s atmospheric increase is anthropogenic emissions, and over 80% of the current global anthropogenic flux is related to agriculture, including associated land-use change. An accurate assessment of N2O emissions from agriculture is vital not only for understanding the global N2O balance and its impact on climate but also for designing crop systems with lower GHG emissions. Such assessments are currently hampered by the lackmore » of instrumentation and methodologies to measure ecosystem-level fluxes at appropriate spatial and temporal scales. Southwest Sciences and Princeton University are developing and testing new open-path eddy covariance instrumentation for continuous and fast (10 Hz) measurement of nitrous oxide emissions. An important advance, now being implemented, is the use of new mid-infrared laser sources that enable the development of exceptionally low power (<10 W) compact instrumentation that can be used even in remote sites lacking in power. The instrumentation will transform the ability to measure and understand ecosystem-level nitrous oxide fluxes. The Phase II results included successful extended field testing of prototype flux instruments, based on quantum cascade lasers, in collaboration with Michigan State University. Results of these tests demonstrated a flux detection limit of 5 µg m-2 s-1 and showed excellent agreement and correlation with measurements using chamber techniques. Initial tests of an instrument using an interband cascade laser (ICL) were performed, verifying that an order of magnitude reduction in instrument power requirements can be realized. These results point toward future improvements and testing leading to introduction of a commercial open path instrument for N2O flux measurements that is truly portable and cost-effective. The technology developed on this project is especially groundbreaking as it could be widely applied across FLUXNET and AmeriFlux sites (>1200 worldwide) for direct measurements of N2O exchange. The technology can be more broadly applied to gas monitoring requirements in industry, environmental monitoring, health and safety, etc.« less
  2. Mass spectroscopic apparatus and method

    The disclosure is directed to a method and apparatus for ionization modulated mass spectrometric analysis. Analog or digital data acquisition and processing can be used. Ions from a time variant source are detected and quantified. The quantified ion output is analyzed using a computer to provide a two-dimensional representation of at least one component present within an analyte.

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"Stanton, Alan"

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