Gas Sensing Solutions of Cumbernauld, UK, is claiming a speed record for its SprintIR6S ‘non-dispersive infra-red (NDIR) CO2  sensor: up to 20 readings/s for a 0-10% step change in CO2 flowing at 0.1 litre per minute.

Inside, the sensor measures differential light absorption between light at 4.2 and 4.4 μm.

The device is 23.8 mm in diameter and 24 mm tall and takes just 35 mW from a 3.25 to 5.5 V supply. Variants are available optimized for monitoring CO2 across 0-100% concentration.

Applications include food packaging machines, where high levels of CO2 are used to keep sealed packages of meat and bagged salads fresher for longer, again according to GSS.

For low concentrations GSS says they have a range of ambient air CO2 monitors that work in the 0 to 1% concentration range that are so low power that they can run for 10 years on a single battery.

Increases in CO2 levels can rapidly have a negative effect on people, with alertness being increasingly compromised. A CO2 level of 400 ppm is recognized as the normal atmospheric level, and effects start from 1,000 ppm – with drowsiness and yawning – rising with increasing concentration to dizziness, unconsciousness and fatalities.