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CO – General information, CO–Sensors & relevant applications

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and toxic gas. Discover all the info about this gas and about the CO sensors from Wi.Tec-Sensorik ...

Table of Contents

General information on CO / Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and toxic gas. It is produced, among other things, during the incomplete combustion of carbon-containing substances with insufficient oxygen supply. Carbon monoxide is combustible and burns with oxygen to form carbon dioxide. In combustion processes, CO is an important indicator of the efficiency of combustion.The measurement of CO concentration is used, among other things, in stationary and mobile emission monitoring (CEMS) and in limit value monitoring.

Properties for Carbon monoxide (CO)

The molecular weight of carbon monoxide (CO) is about 28.01 g/mol.

  • Colorless: CO is an invisible gas.
  • Odor and taste: CO is odorless and tasteless.
  • Non-irritant: CO does not irritate the respiratory tract, which means it often goes unnoticed.
  • Lighter than air: carbon monoxide has a lower density than air and can therefore disperse in a room.
  • Toxic: CO binds with high affinity to hemoglobin in the blood, which impairs oxygen transport in the body and can lead to serious health problems or even death.
  • Combustible: In high concentrations, CO is flammable.
  • Sources of formation: CO is formed during incomplete combustion of carbonaceous fuels such as wood, coal, gasoline, natural gas, and oil.
  • Water soluble: At room temperature and atmospheric pressure, about 0.03 g of CO dissolves in one liter of water

Application examples for CO

  • Syngas production: CO is often referred to as synthesis gas or “syngas” in combination with hydrogen. This gas mixture serves as an intermediate in the production of ammonia, methanol and other chemicals.
  • Fischer-Tropsch synthesis: CO and hydrogen can be used in Fischer-Tropsch synthesis to produce liquid hydrocarbons that can serve as fuel or chemical intermediates.
  • Reducing agent in metallurgy: CO can be used as a reducing agent in metallurgy, especially in iron production in blast furnaces. Here it reduces iron oxide (Fe2O3) to iron.
  • Acid acid production: CO is used in the Cativa process to produce acid acid from methanol.
  • Phosgene production: CO is used to produce phosgene, which is used in the production of polyurethanes and other plastics and chemicals.
  • Carbonyl metal complexes: In organometallic chemistry, carbonyl-metal complexes such as nickel carbonyl and iron pentacarbonyl are often prepared with CO directly bonded to metals.
  • Detection gas: In some calibrated gas mixtures, CO is used as a detection or calibration gas.
  • Neurotransmitter: There is evidence that CO acts as a neurotransmitter in very small amounts in the human body, similar to nitric oxide (NO).

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a dangerous gas because it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, making it imperceptible.

Gas sensors from Wi.Tec-Sensorik for the precise measurement of CO

Overview Products and Measurement Ranges

  Measuring range (*)
INFRA.sens AK5
INFRA.sens AK20
INFRA.sens AK50
INFRA.sens AK100
INFRA.sens AK250
(*) Full scale value (F.S.)
For other measuring ranges please refer to our further datasheets

Product Previews

Some relevant Applications to CO

Gas Insulated Switchgear Monitoring

Gas Insulated Switchgear Monitoring

  • Detection limit (3 sigma) < 0,1 Vol.% 
  • Linearity error < 0,5 % FS (Fullscale) 
  • Including Temperature-compensation 5 - 45 °C 
  • Including pressure compensation 600 - 1200 mbar 
  • Ready to use module 
INFRA.sens® AK2/μP compact // INFRA.sens® AK20G compact  To save the atmosphere – for quality and leakage measurement In gas-insulated high- and medium-voltage switchgear, sulfur hexafluride (SF6) is used as an …
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Elemental Analysis

Elemental Analysis

  • Area saving solution for 2 gases with best technology selection (NDUV & NDIR)
  • Data rate of 100ms possible
  • Correction algorithm for SO2 to CO2 and vice versa
  • Long lifetime of radiation source
  • SO2 measurement possible with NDIR as well as NDUV
ULTRA.sens® AK100 // INFRA.sens® AK250G compact  High precision leads to higher quality  In chemistry, the term quantitative elemental analysis is used to describe the quantitative determination of the elements carbon …
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Automotive exhaust gas analysis

Automotive exhaust gas analysis

  • For high carbon monoxide ranges additional gas filter for suppression of interfering gases are integrated 
  • Low N2O measurement without CO2 interference powered by software algorithm 
INFRA.sens® N2O / CH4 / CO2-AK220G/AK5 // INFRA.sens® N2O / CH4 / CO2-AK250G/AK5  Low emission means low ranges  Combustion engines emit a large number of gaseous substances that must be …
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Continous Emission Monitoring (CEM)

Continous Emission Monitoring (CEM)

  • Solution for stationary, mobile and maritime analyzer
  • Vibration tested according to DIN EN60068-2-64(04/2009)
ULTRA.sens® NOx / SO2-AK100 TBH  Environmental Monitoring must not be expensive  In combustion processes, for the generation of electrical energy and heat, a variety of gaseous components are produced, such …
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Renewable Gas Monitoring

Renewable Gas Monitoring

  • Wide range of solution in the area of renewable energy sources and infrastructure
  • Development in progress for a new kind of portable H2S detektor
INFRA.sens® AK20Gcompact & ULTRA.sens® H2S Modul Measure the future energy sources  Biogas is produced by fermentation of organic waste and renewable resources (NAWAROS). The main components of biogas are methane …
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Customer Specific Projects

Customer Specific Projects

  • You have a measurement task that goes beyond the usual standards and are looking for a competent partner?
  • Please contact us. Your measurement task is our challenge!
  • The employees of Wi.Tec-Sensorik GmbH have extensive expertise in the field of industrial gas measurement technology and sensor signal processing.
Read MoreCustomer Specific Projects

Humidity Measurement 

  • Detection limit: < 5 ppm H2O
  • Fast response time (t90 < 10 sec)
  • Efficient alternative for a dew point mirror measurement
  • Low maintenance operation
  • Can be combined with other gas measurements such as CO2, CO, CnHm, CH4 etc.
INFRA.sens® CO2 / HC / H2O – AK250GC / TBH piped  Compact alternative to laser and dew point mirror sensors  Humidity measurement is an important component of gas measurement technology, …
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