You are welcome to attend Noushin Majdabadifarahani's MASc oral exam, in which she will discuss her research evaluating polymeric materials as sensing materials for acetone, formaldehyde and benzene detection.
Sensing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is important in many applications.
For example, acetone detection in disease diagnosis such as diabetes, and formaldehyde and benzene detection in indoor air quality. Higher amounts of acetone are emitted from diabetes patients’ breath or skin, compared to a non-diabetic person. It has been found that patients with higher blood glucose levels had much higher breath acetone levels (Tassopoulos et al. 969). Formaldehyde, even at very low concentrations, can cause respiratory problems and a general feeling of un-wellness. Thus, sensing small amounts of these analytes at room temperature is of high interest.
This research focuses on evaluating polymeric materials as sensing materials for acetone, formaldehyde and benzene detection at ppm levels. There is preference for using polymeric materials as they are inexpensive and with tailorable properties. In any application, multiple gas analytes are present and will interact with both the sensing materials and the other analytes.
This makes the identification of highly selective sensing materials difficult.
In the current research, sensing materials are evaluated using a specially designed experimental test set-up that includes a highly sensitive gas chromatograph (GC) capable of detecting down to the ppb range (Stewart, 2016). In our example, poly (methyl methacrylate), PMMA, of different molecular weights is evaluated as a potential sensing material for acetone.
In another study, polyaniline (PANI), poly (2,5-dimethyl aniline) (P25DMA), poly(4-vinyl phenol) (P4VP), and poly (acrylic acid) (PAAc) were chosen as potential sensing materials for formaldehyde (F) and benzene (B) as toxic gas analytes. To improve the sensitivity of a sensing material, metal oxides has been used in different ratios.
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