Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Methane Sensor

A robust and low-cost methane mixed-potential sensor.

LAUR: 16-22573


  • Potential to Disrupt the Methane Sensor Market- The market is currently comprised of three distinct methods: expensive infrared (IR), nondispersive infrared (NDIR), and combustible catalytic bead. LANL's novel method of producing mixed-potential carbon monoxide sensors combines platinum and indium tin oxide electrodes with yttria or stabilized zirconia electrolyte.
  • Mixed-Potential Technologies Outperform Biomimetic and MOS Methods- Mixed-potential outperforms in both accuracy and overall resistance to atmospheric interference. LANL’s compact, inexpensive, and robust mixed-potential sensors bypass these issues while maintaining the same level of accuracy and reliability.
  • Domestic and Industrial Applications Diminish Risks of Methane Asphyxiation- Additionally, they monitor greenhouse gas emissions. This design’s reliable stability, sample reproducibility, and stable level of selectivity continue to exemplify efforts towards further enhanced CH4 safety measures.

P. K. Sekhar, J. Kysar, E. L. Brosha, and C. Kreller, “Development and Testing of an Electrochemical Methane Sensor,” Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical 228 (2016) 162-167.


U.S. Patent # 6,656,336, “Method for Forming a Potential Hydrocarbon Sensor with Low Sensitivity to Methane and CO, issued Dec 2, 2003 (DOE S-97,844).

U.S. Patent # 6,605,202, “Electrodes for Solid State Gas Sensor”, issued Aug 12, 2003 (DOE S-99,902).

U.S. Patent # 7,214,333, “Electrodes for Solid State Gas Sensor”, issued May 8, 2007 (DOE S-100,634).

U.S. Patent # 7,264,700, “Thin Film Mixed Potential Sensors”; issued Sept. 4, 2007 (DOE S-100,655).

Development Stage

Laboratory devices tested. Transitioning to development of pre-commercial platform. To be tested by Washington State University, est. summer 2016.