Effects of marine biofouling on gas sensor membrane materials

Smith, M.J. , Kerr, A. and Cowling, M.J. (2007) Effects of marine biofouling on gas sensor membrane materials. Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 9(12), pp. 1378-1386. (doi:10.1039/B714187B)

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The use of underwater gaseous sensors has increased rapidly in the last 10 years. The majority of such sensors employ a thin membrane through which the gas diffuses. These sensors are potentiometric gas-sensing probes and essentially they are ion-selective electrodes. The deployment time of these membranes is curtailed by the formation of biofouling on the membrane leading to erroneous results. The physical properties of a variety of commonly used membranes were investigated using SEM and AFM. This showed that there were differences in topography between the PTFE membranes, such as pore sizes and surface roughness, which may be attributed to the manner in which they are manufactured. The pore size of the PTFE membranes varied greatly, ranging from circular pores with a diameter of 500 nm to elongated pores measuring 1 × 22 μm. The contact angle of each membrane showed that they were all hydrophobic. The amount of fouling on each was also observed and its affect on oxygen diffusion was monitored. Fouling slowed down the response of the instrument and caused reduced diffusion through the membranes. The amount of fouling varied between the membranes with the YSI membrane fouling least. Some of the membranes tested did foul less than others and there could be lifetime advantages of choosing a membrane with a smoother surface and a small pore size.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Dr Margaret
Authors: Smith, M.J., Kerr, A., and Cowling, M.J.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Journal Name:Journal of Environmental Monitoring
Publisher:Royal Society of Chemistry
ISSN (Online):1464-0333

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