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Detection mechanism studies of SO2 on Pt / SiO2 system
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Applied Sensor Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Competence Centre for Catalysis / Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden.
Competence Centre for Catalysis / Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden.
Alstom Power AB, Växjö, Sweden.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Experiment was performed with Pt-gate SiC-FET sensors to study the detection mechanism of the sensors. The sensing measurement showed that oxygen influenced the response quite strongly. The sensor response became larger in the presence of oxygen. Experiment with mass spectroscopy indicated the formation of SO3 during the sensing measurement. Further experiment with DRIFT spectroscopy showed the formation of sulfate species on the oxide surface, accompanied by the disappearance of the silanol groups. An explanatory model was built based on quantum-chemical calculations. The results strengthened the experimental results by showing that it was more energetically favorable for SO2 to oxidize into SO3 before being adsorbed on the oxide surface. It was also observed that the overall adsorption reaction was exothermic, the activation energy for the SO2 oxidation was 48,75 kJ/mol, and the rate limiting step was the desorption of SO3 from the Pt surface.

Keyword [en]
SO2 sensors, SiC-FET, Pt, detection mechanism, quantum chemical calculations
National Category
Physical Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106214OAI: diva2:714648
Available from: 2014-04-29 Created: 2014-04-29 Last updated: 2015-03-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. SiC-FET Gas Sensors Developed for Control of the Flue Gas Desulfurization System in Power Plants Experimental and Modeling: Experimental and Modeling
Open this publication in new window or tab >>SiC-FET Gas Sensors Developed for Control of the Flue Gas Desulfurization System in Power Plants Experimental and Modeling: Experimental and Modeling
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Electricity and power generation is an essential part of our life. However, powergeneration activities also create by-products (such as sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides,carbon monoxide, etc), which can be dangerous when released to the atmosphere.Sensors, as part of the control system, play very vital role for the fluegas cleaning processes in power plants. This thesis concerns the development ofSilicon Carbide Field Effect Transistor (SiC-FET) gas sensors as sensors for sulfurcontaining gases (SO2 and H2S) used as part of the environmental control systemin power plants. The works includes sensor deposition and assembly, sensinglayer characterization, operation mode development, performance testing of thesensors in a gas mixing rig in the laboratory and field test in a desulfurization pilotunit, and both experimental and theoretical studies on the detection mechanismof the sensors.

The sensor response to SO2 was very small and saturated quickly. SO2 is a verystable gas and therefore reaction with other species requires a large energy input.SO2 mostly reacts with the catalyst through physisorption, which results in lowresponse level. Another problem was that once it finally reacted with oxygen andadsorbed on the surface of the catalyst in form of a sulfate compound, it is desorbedwith difficulty. Therefore, the sensor signal saturated after a certain timeof exposure to SO2. Different gate materials were tested in static operation (Pt,Ir, Au), but the saturation phenomena occurred in all three cases. Dynamic sensoroperation using temperature cycling and multivariate data analysis could mitigatethis problem. Pt-gate sensors were operated at several different temperatures in acyclic fashion. One of the applied temperatures was chosen to be very high for ashort time to serve as cleaning step. This method was also termed the virtual multisensor method because the data generated could represent the data from multiplesensors in static operation at different temperatures. Then, several features of thesignal, such as mean value and slope, were extracted and processed with multivariatedata analysis. Linear Discrimination Analysis (LDA) was chosen since itiiiallows controlled data analysis. It was shown that it was possible to quantify SO2with a 2-step LDA. The background was identified in the first step and SO2 wasquantified in the second step. Pt sensors in dynamic operation and 2-step LDAevaluation has also demonstrated promising results for SO2 measurement in thelaboratory as well as in a desulfurization pilot unit. For a commercial sensor, algorithmhave to be developed to enable on-line measurement in real time.

It was observed that Ir-gate sensors at 350oC were very sensitive to H2S. The responseobtained by Ir sensors to H2S was almost five times larger than that of Ptsensors, which might be due to the higher oxygen coverage of Ir. Moreover, Irsensors were also more stable with less drift during the operation as a result ofhigher thermal stability. However, the recovery time for Ir sensors was very long,due to the high desorption energy. Overall, the Ir sensors performed well whentested for a leak detection application (presence of oxygen and dry environment).The geothermal application, where heat is extracted from the earth, requires thesensor to be operated in humid condition in the absence (or very low concentration)of oxygen, and this poses a problem. Temperature cycle operation and smartdata evaluation might also be an option for future development.

Along with the sensor performance testing, a study on the detection mechanismwas also performed for SO2 sensor, both experimentally and theoretically. The experimentincluded the study of the species formed on the surface of the catalystwith DRIFT (diffuse reflectance infrared frourier transform) spectroscopy and theanalysis of the residual gas with mass spectroscopy. Explanatory investigation ofthe surface reactions was performed using quantum-chemical calculations. Theoreticalcalculations of the infrared (IR) vibration spectra was employed to supportthe identification of peaks in the DRIFT measurement. Based on the study on theresidual gas analysis and quantum-chemical calculations, a reaction mechanismfor the SO2 molecule adsorption on the sensor surface was suggested.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 44 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1587
SiC-FET sensors, temperature cycle operation, detection mechanism studies, SO2, H2S
National Category
Engineering and Technology
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106224 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-106224 (DOI)978-91-7519-366-3 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-03, Planck, Fysikhuset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2014-05-13 Created: 2014-04-29 Last updated: 2015-03-09Bibliographically approved

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