Detection of methyl mercaptan with a 3393-nm distributed feedback interband cascade laser
Attention has been focused recently on the harmful effects and malodor of methyl mercaptan (CH3SH), so it is desired to detect CH3SH in situ, sensitively, and selectively. We detected methyl mercaptan via tunable laser absorption spectroscopy (TLAS) with a room-temperature distributed feedback interband cascade laser emitting around 3393 nm and a hollow waveguide gas cell with 5 m length. The fundamental characteristic fingerprint absorptions of CH3SH from 3260 to 3400 nm were examined, and the spectral line 3393.584 nm (corresponding to the ν2 C–H symmetric stretch) was determined to be the optimum for CH3SH detection. The response characteristics of the TLAS system were established by implementing a set of CH3SH concentration gradient experiments with wavelength-scanned direct absorption spectroscopy. The results show that CH3SH TLAS spectra are in excellent agreement with spectra from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory database; the TLAS response linearity is 0.987, and the detection limit is as low as 25 ppbv (parts per billion by volume, 10−9) with integrated time 1.84 s, corresponding to an absorbance of 1.34 × 10−4 (near the theoretical detection limit). Overall, the TLAS system is a robust method for CH3SH monitoring of industrial waste gas emissions.