About the types of Gas sensors

User:JXCTUpload time:Jan 23 2024


Gas sensor are essential devices used to detect and monitor the presence of specific gases in the atmosphere. They are widely used in various industries, including manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, and environmental monitoring. Gas sensor play a crucial role in ensuring workplace safety, preventing hazardous incidents, and protecting the environment.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of gas sensor commonly used today, their working principles, applications, and advantages.

Gas Sensor

Electrochemical Gas Sensors

Electrochemical gas sensors are widely used for detecting toxic gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). These sensors consist of a working electrode, reference electrode, and counter electrode immersed in an electrolyte. When the target gas comes into contact with the working electrode, a chemical reaction occurs, generating an electric current that is proportional to the concentration of the gas.


High sensitivity and selectivity
Fast response time
Long-term stability
Low power consumption


Industrial safety
Environmental monitoring
Indoor air quality monitoring

Catalytic Bead Gas Sensors

Catalytic bead gas sensor are commonly used to detect combustible gases such as methane (CH4), propane (C3H8), and hydrogen (H2). These sensors consist of two coils of fine platinum wire coated with a catalyst. When combustible gas comes into contact with the heated sensor element, it undergoes a catalytic combustion reaction, which increases the resistance of the wire. The change in resistance is measured to determine the gas concentration.


Highly sensitive to combustible gases
Wide detection range
Rugged and reliable
Suitable for continuous monitoring


Industrial gas leak detection
Petrochemical plants
Natural gas distribution systems

Infrared Gas Sensors

Infrared gas sensor are used to detect gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and hydrocarbons. These sensor work based on the absorption of infrared radiation by the target gas molecules. The sensor emits infrared light at specific wavelengths, and the presence of the target gas causes a reduction in the transmitted light intensity. This reduction is measured to determine the gas concentration.


High accuracy and selectivity
Immune to cross-interference
Long lifespan
Suitable for long-distance monitoring


Greenhouse gas monitoring
Exhaust gas analysis
HVAC systems

Semiconductor Gas Sensors

Semiconductor gas sensors are widely used for detecting a wide range of gases, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), alcohol, and ammonia. These sensors consist of a semiconductor material, typically metal oxide, that changes its electrical resistance when it interacts with the target gas. The change in resistance is proportional to the gas concentration and is measured to determine its presence.


Low cost
Compact and portable
Fast response time
Suitable for low gas concentrations


Indoor air quality monitoring
Industrial hygiene
Automotive exhaust emissions

Photoionization Detectors (PID)

Photoionization detectors (PIDs) are primarily used to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other hazardous substances. PIDs work based on the principle of ionization. When UV light is emitted onto the gas sample, it ionizes the gas molecules, creating positively charged ions and free electrons. The resulting electric current is measured to determine the gas concentration.


High sensitivity to VOCs
Wide dynamic range
Rapid response time
Suitable for hazardous material detection


Environmental monitoring
Industrial hygiene
Hazmat response


Gas sensors are vital tools for detecting and monitoring the presence of specific gases in various environments. Electrochemical sensors, catalytic bead sensors, infrared sensors, semiconductor sensors, and photoionization detectors are among the most commonly used gas sensor types. Each type has its own working principle, advantages, and applications. By utilizing gas sensors, industries can ensure worker safety, prevent accidents, and protect the environment from hazardous gases. Continuous advancements in gas sensor technology will further enhance their performance and expand their application areas in the future.