An automated semi-continuous on-line instrument has been developed to measure CO2 gas concentrations in the vadose zone. The instrument uses semi-permeable polymer tubing (CO2 probe) for diffusion based sampling, coupled to an infra red sensor. The system operated automatically by intermittently purging the CO2 probe, which was installed in the vadose zone, with a non-CO2 gas at a low flow rate. The gas exiting the CO2 probe was monitored at the ground surface using a miniature infra red sensor and the response related to the vadose zone soil gas CO 2 concentration. The in situ CO2 probes provided a reliable monitoring technique under long-term (18 months) aggressive and dynamic field conditions, with no interference observed from non-CO2 gases and volatile organic compounds. The probes provided data that were comparable to conventional grab sampling techniques without the labour-intensive sample collection and processing associated with these conventional techniques. Also, disturbance to vadose zone CO2 profiles from repeated grab samples during long-term semi-continuous monitoring could potential be reduced by using the diffusion based sampling technique. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2013.
|Journal||Journal of Environmental Monitoring|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|