Los Gatos Research (LGR) receives an order for five more of the company’s trace gas analysers from the California Air Resource Board (CARB).

These particular instruments (part of LGR’s acclaimed Enhanced Performance series) deliver extremely stringent performance specifications, including better than fifty parts-per-trillion measurement precision, ultrahigh long-term stability, and over four decades of dynamic range for both gases.

Furthermore, the instruments specifications are guaranteed for both stationary and mobile operation, i.e., while subject to typical ambient vibrations and temperature variations encountered in air-monitoring automobiles.

No other analyser commercially available provides this level of performance.

Although typically present at much lower concentrations in air than high profile greenhouse gases (GHGs) like carbon dioxide and methane, nitrous oxide is being increasingly studied because of its long lifetime and particularly powerful global warming potential – over 100 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

N2O is a product of the nitrogen cycle, and can also be produced by combustion of biofuels. 

Measuring trace N2O concentrations can help scientists better understand natural and anthropogenic influences on the environment, climate change and the nitrogen cycle, including the influence of nitrate runoff from intensified agricultural activity. 

The second gas measured by these analysers is carbon monoxide.  While not a significant GHG, it acts to remove OH radicals in the atmosphere that naturally lower the lifetime of primary GHGs (O3 and CH4). 

Moreover, CO is a product of fossil fuel and biomass burning, is poisonous at higher concentrations, and it is estimated about 50% of the atmospheric CO is currently of manmade origin.

LGR President Douglas Baer, Ph.D., explains that: “Accurate and rapid measurements of nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide in air have been difficult with conventional technology or older laser-based methods.”

“LGR’s patented laser-based analysers, which employ mid-infrared tunable lasers, provide continuous measurements of atmospheric N2O and CO anywhere with parts-per-trillion precision.”

“Receiving an order from such a well-respected organization as CARB validates our belief in the technical superiority of LGR’s patented technology and instrumentation platform.”

stated LGR President Douglas Baer, Ph.D.

LGR precision gas analysers are based on the company’s patented Off-axis Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy (OA-ICOS) technology, a fourth-generation, cavity-enhanced laser absorption technique.

This unique approach is more rugged, more precise and simpler to service than earlier cavity-enhanced techniques, such as conventional cavity ringdown spectroscopy (CRDS), because the performance of OA-ICOS does not need ultra-precise alignment or sub nanometer stability of its optics, or a high degree of thermal control. 

This ensures higher absolute accuracy, longer maintenance intervals, higher reliability and reduced cost of ownership.