Field Deployment of Printed Carbon Nanotube Gas Sensor Arrays for Natural Gas Leak Detection

Wednesday, 31 May 2017: 11:40
Churchill B1 (Hilton New Orleans Riverside)
C. J. Smith (PARC), B. Kim (NASA Ames Research Center), G. Iftime, A. Wei, E. Cocker, Y. Zhang (PARC), M. Meyyappan (NASA Ames Research Center), and D. E. Schwartz (PARC)
PARC and NASA Ames have developed part-per-million level sensitivity room-temperature printed gas sensors based on arrays of modified single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). The SWNT sensors change resistance in response to reversible electro-chemical interactions between target analytes and the modifications on the SWNTs. The ultra-low power (microwatt level) ability to measure trace-gas concentrations through changes in SWNT resistance has enabled us to build an autonomous, off-the-grid, distributed gas sensing network to be deployed to the ARPA-E natural gas leak testing facility in Ft. Collins, CO during the spring of 2017. During this deployment, the leak detection network will be subjected to tests of its accuracy and precision in locating the sources of leaks on a mock natural gas well-pad. The key enablers of this technology are the SWNTs which we have modified with coatings, chemical functionalization, and nanoparticles, to achieve sensitivity to a wide selection of gases including CH4, NH3, CO, H2S, etc., in the presence of real-world environmental conditions. We will report on the results of this field deployment, along with a discussion of the SWNT modifications made to create the sensor arrays.