Novel Modified Optical Fibers for High Temperature In-Situ Miniaturized Gas Sensors in Advanced Fossil Energy Systems


Stochastically Porous Glass and Sapphire Photonic<br/>Crystal Fiber (SPCF) gas sensors and associated<br/>gas detection absorption spectrum
Stochastically Porous Glass and Sapphire Photonic
Crystal Fiber (SPCF) gas sensors and associated
gas detection absorption spectrum
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Website:  Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Award Number:  FC26-05NT42441
Project Duration:  07/01/2005 – 06/30/2014
Total Award Value:  $2,437,870
DOE Share:  $1,938,172
Performer Share:  $499,697
Technology Area:  Plant Optimization Technologies
Key Technology:  Sensors and Controls
Location:  Blacksburg, Virginia

Project Description

The objective is to develop novel modified fiber materials for high temperature gas sensors based on evanescent wave absorption in standing hole optical fibers. To overcome the response time limitation of currently available holey fibers (due to gas phase diffusion constraints), a novel process will be developed to produce holes perpendicular to the fiber axis. An investigation of the feasibility of upgrading the technology to single crystal sapphire by use of sol-gel processing and laser backside photochemical etching will be accomplished, thereby providing a quantum leap in temperature capability of the gas sensor.

Project Benefits

This project will develop novel modified fiber materials for high temperature gas sensors. These developments are expected to lead to the availability of an inexpensive, rugged, device that is capable of measuring the concentration of multiple pollutants in lean-burn coal combustion exhaust streams as well as sensors that can be used to improve combustion control in coal-fired power plants. The expected impact of this technology is more accurate measurements within a boiler or gasifier for better control of the operation of the facility in a dynamic fashion leading to lower operating costs, improved fuel utilization, and reduced emissions.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Maria Reidpath:
Technology Manager 
Robert Romanosky:
Principal Investigator 
Gary Pickrell:

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