Continuous Preconcentrator for Trace Gas Analysis (Preprint)
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA PROPULSION DIRECTORATE
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Patent records document a continuous development of trace gasparticle preconcentrators for use in particle detection systems. The most common application proposed for the inventions is the detection of biological agents, chemical agents, or explosives for security purposes although other applications are clearly possible. Existing particle detection systems such as gas chromatograph mass spectrometer GCMS systems do not have the required sensitivity for the characteristic application. Existing sensor technologies require pretreatment of the sample including preconcentration. There have been two classes of trace gasparticle preconcentrators cycled and continuous. Preconcentrators that are based on adsorption membranes cannot operate on a continuous basis, because the gas must be stopped, a desired amount adsorbed, then released. These types of pre-concentrators may therefore not be able to maintain the time fidelity of the analyte gas concentrations. Hence, preconcentrators that can operate continuously may be useful for detecting in substantial real time variations in the concentration of the trace gases that are being analyzed. A recent patent of a meso-scale, continuous flow-through, trace gas preconcentrator can enable this specific application with the capability of achieving significant trace-gas concentration increases using one or two simple meso-scale mass diffusion separation stages.
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare
- Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particle Physics