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Invited Article: A materials investigation of a phase-change micro-valve for greenhouse gas collection and other potential applications
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54.From the perspective of surface area of the fabricated valves through which evolved CO2 would escape, we can estimate the contamination bias error. Consider the total wall area of the cylindrical entrance hole through the solder mound, and assume that half of any CO2 evolved from that wall diffuses into the chamber, the other half diffusing into the ambient. Compared with the total surface area of the solder valve material, this area is just 4% of the total. Thus the bias estimate is at least 25 times too large. Factoring the closing of the hole during outgassing, the area of the entrance hole relative to the total valve area is 0.5%. In this case, the estimate becomes 200 times too large. The bias estimates are thus overestimated by 25–200 times. These calculations reduce the bias to a maximum of 0.09 ppmv for the best condition from Table IV, and 0.02 ppmv for the best condition of Table V, assuming the 25 times overestimate value just calculated. Finally, 1 ml was chosen as a starting point for manufacture. It would be just as simple to make 10–50 ml chambers, in which case the bias drops by 10–50 from the 1 ml case study.
PFP vessels, using a two stage pump-compressor system, have demonstrated filling rates of 5–20 l/min and filling times of 40 s to 1 min (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/aircraft/sampling.html
). CARIBIC vessels in Refs. 43
required 30 s to 1.5 min to fill using a three-stage pump compressor capable of up to 30 l/min. Schuck (Ref. 43
) used a three-stage pump to produce 200–300 mbar (20–30 kPa) of pressure at the sampler inlet. If we used a similar scheme with our miniature samplers, and sample at 30 000 ft, the chamber-filling pressure difference would be 0.174 psig (1.2 kPa). Correcting for temperature and altitude, the orifice flow rate (www.okcc.com
) is 0.15 l/min, requiring only 20 s to fill a 50 ml sample chamber. The altitude resolution (for controlled descents) or lateral resolution (for airplane or UAV systems), is therefore much greater with the miniature vessels even considering the orifice flow restriction. Incidentally, such a 50 ml chamber can provide sufficient sample for ∼50 GC-MS analyses.
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