What is it about?
By exploiting the sensitivity of palladium to hydrogen, we can optically measure hydrogen concentration. This is because when palladium reacts with hydrogen, it makes a hydride. This palladium hydride has different physical properties compared to normal palladium, and this can be probed using optical methods.
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Why is it important?
Hydrogen gas is extremely sensitive to combustion. This method of optical detection is ideal because there is no requirement for an electrical current to be in contact with the hydrogen gas. In a sense, the sensor can be assumed 'inert' and won't cause the hydrogen to combust. This is a massive advantage for the detection of hydrogen when producing bioenergy.
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This page is a summary of: Perspectives of surface plasmon resonance sensors for optimized biogas methanation, Engineering in Life Sciences, September 2019, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/elsc.201900063.
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