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Speciation in Application Environments for Dissolved Carbon Dioxide Sensors

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Measurement of the concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide in ground and surface aqueous environments is needed for a wide variety of scientific and industrial applications. These environments can be fresh, saline, or transitional in nature and can be hydrochemically complex. A next generation of sensors, like fiber-optic sensors, offer real-time, direct, distributed sensing of dissolved carbon dioxide and are an improvement over current technology for many applications; however, these sensors may be susceptible to signal disturbance when deployed in hydrochemically complex, natural environments. This complexity can best be characterized using hydrochemical modeling techniques. The modeling software, phreeqc 2.18, was used to conduct a comprehensive review to gain perspective on published data of natural water samples. Freshwater, saltwater, and transitional environments were characterized in terms of the distribution of carbonate and non-carbonate species present. Saline, transitional, and deep freshwater environments had the broadest range of carbonate distribution and species that may cross-interfere with sensor response. These data should be used to build complex laboratory test solutions that mimic the natural environment for use in sensor development. In some cases, specially engineered membranes may be required to mitigate the potentially cross-interfering effect of these ions.

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The authors would like to thank the Carbon Management Canada, the National Science and Engineering Council, Drs. Peter Wild, David Sinton, Don Lawton, Martin Jun, Ernie Perkins, Bernhard Mayer, Shannon Sterling and Geoff Burton, Luis Melo, Ben Davies, and Bo Bao.

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Correspondence to Sonja Bhatia.

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Bhatia, S., Risk, D. Speciation in Application Environments for Dissolved Carbon Dioxide Sensors. Water Air Soil Pollut 226, 154 (2015).

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