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Posted on October 11, 2017

Three ways nanotechnology gas sensors will improve our lives

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Nanotechnology gas sensors are paving the way to better health and quality of life using the power of knowledge, awareness and prevention. With their tiny size, multitude of applications and affordability, ubiquitous gas sensors are about to change the way we think about the air we breathe and the choices we make to protect our families.
Here are three real-world examples that show how nano gas sensors will impact our lives.
1. Smart cities
2. Air pollution and health
3. Food safety and freshness
1. Smart Cities
Smart city initiatives are focused on improving quality of life, increasing efficiency and generating new economic activity. Some of the top smart cities in the world include Singapore, Copenhagen, Seoul, London, Helsinki and Barcelona - where leaders are spending millions, if not billions, to improve the lives of their citizens. According to Frost & Sullivan, the global smart cities market is projected to reach US$1.56 trillion by 2020.
Experts have come up with "smart" indicators in Environment, Security, Economy, Transportation, Education, & Healthy Living to designate a city as "smart." Gas sensors are poised to play a key role in delivering in these areas and we at AerNos are thrilled to be building technologies to enable this revolution.
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Here are 4 examples to illustrate how gas sensors will help city leaders achieve their Smart City goals.
1. Air pollution monitoring - a network of gas sensors will give cities the ability to monitor air pollution at a granular level, enabling researchers, local government officials, companies, civil society organizations and individuals to know what is in the air citizens are breathing and to take action to reduce exposure to air pollutants. Data from these sensors will be invaluable to researchers at the local and national level in more clearly understanding the role pollutants play in sickness and disease.
2. Aging infrastructure - with networks of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of sensors, cities will have an early warning system for gas leaks, enabling them to quickly identify problems pinpoint sources, and assess where a plume begins and ends.
3. Monitoring climate gases - cities around the world are eager to monitor and reduce the leakage of greenhouse gases in order to be good global citizens and to remain in compliance with international commitments. Small, inexpensive sensors placed or flown at different elevations will enable Smart Cities to accurately monitor the release of methane and CO2 into the atmosphere.
4. Homeland security - citywide grids of gas sensors will allow large cities and law enforcement to have an early warning system to detect suspicious chemicals - potential explosives or poisons - based on information coming from national and international security agencies.
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Through collaboration, Smart Cities will increase the impact of their initiatives, for example by sharing information with other cities and working closely with national and global health organizations.
2. Air Pollution and Health
We take 20,000 breaths every day and the science is clear - the air we breathe can impact our short-term and long-term health. To take meaningful action we need to know what's in the air we are breathing here and now, not what's in the air on the other side of town. An air pollution monitor miles away attached to the 8th story of a building cannot capture exposure at a personal level - for example a pregnant woman exposed to off-gassing paint indoors or fumes from pumping her own gas.
Personal air monitoring will be a breakthrough for scientific research, healthcare interventions, personal preventative action, advocacy and more.
Nano Gas Sensors can detect multiple gases simultaneously
There have been tremendous innovations in nanotechnology - advances in understanding and controlling matter at dimensions between 1 and 100 nano-meters, where unique phenomena enable novel applications like detecting gases. For context, a human hair is approximately 100,000 nano-meters wide.
Multiple disciplines in nanotechnology are allowing for innovative ways to detect small concentrations of specific gases (down to the parts-per-billion level) in the environment. The science behind how this is accomplished is truly fascinating - incorporating disciplines from chemistry, engineering, and data science. For reference, 1 part-per-billion is equal to 1 blade of grass on a football field.
This innovation in nanotechnology results in tiny yet powerful gas sensors that can be embedded into the devices we use and interact with every day - smartphones, wearables, smart appliances, smoke detectors, and on and on.
Utilizing wearable sensing devices and a network of indoor and outdoor air pollution sensors will power the next generation of solutions that will reduce exposure and prevent disease and illness.
3. Food Safety and Freshness
We've all purchased excessive quantities of food during a run to the grocery store. With all that food in the fridge it's easy to miss peak freshness and to have food spoil before we know it. Food waste is often a result of consumers losing track of what's in the home and just not realizing their food is going bad. Very soon, smart appliances - with the help of gas sensors - will reduce waste by monitoring freshness and detecting food spoilage before it's too late.
Beyond saving money and wasting less food, gas sensors will help protect our families from potential safety hazards associated with foods gone bad and pesticide residues.
Smart, connected refrigerators will help us plan our purchasing and our meals around what is fresh and ready to eat, giving us the knowledge we need to prevent waste and even illness.
About AerNos Nano Gas Sensors
AerNos is proud to be pioneering the next generation of gas sensors that will enable these fantastic solutions. Our sensors are small, low cost, and can detect multiple gases to the parts-per-billion (ppb). Detection of multiple gases occurs within seconds while utilizing minimal operating power. Our sensors can detect gases and their concentration for various applications, including environmental monitoring, food safety and spoilage, and homeland security, industrial, manufacturing and healthcare applications.
Real-time information from gas sensors will be a valuable tool in increasing knowledge and awareness enabling individuals, communities, and institutions to take meaningful actions to improve our lives.
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Printed Electronics USA 2018 External Link on 14 - 15 Nov 2018 at Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, USA hosted by IDTechEx.