Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 20(1), 19 (2004).

Trends in Atmospheric Trace Gas Measurement Instruments with Membrane-based Gas Diffusion Scrubbers
Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Kumamoto University, Kurokami, Kumamoto 860-8555, Japan
A diffusion scrubber (DS) is an excellent tool for gas analysis, and there are many types of DS devices, varying both in structure and construction. In this paper, recent work on atmospheric trace gas measurements by means of DS devices are reviewed. Theoretical considerations on representative DSs are summarized first. Then, the characteristics of the key material, a gas-diffusion membrane, are discussed, and recent improvements and novel scrubbers for highly effective collection are outlined. A chromatograph is a suitable tool for the multi-gas analysis of collected species. On the other hand, solid-state fluorescence/absorbance detectors have been developed for the continuous measurement of target gases. The methods based on DS collection and subsequent detection have high sensitivities, and the detection limits can be in the low-pptv levels. Accordingly, they are capable of measuring background levels, and detecting very low levels of contaminants in a cleanroom. Miniaturized advanced DS units, perhaps the next generation of DS devices, are introduced at the end of this review. DS systems have contributed significantly to our knowledge of the atmospheric dynamics and atmospheric chemistry.