I'm doing research for applications of absorption spectroscopy. I'm trying to find common practices such as how the gasses are mixed, measured, contained, and discarded.

The gases involved will be those commonly found in the atmosphere or the human body. Top among these will be $\ce{NO2}$, $\ce{CO2}$, and $\ce{CO}$.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I certainly hope that $\ce{CO}$ is not commonly found in the human body... $\endgroup$
    – Zhe
    Jan 20, 2017 at 2:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Zhe, that caught my eye too, but it does say "or the human body" ;) $\endgroup$
    – airhuff
    Jan 29, 2017 at 0:44

1 Answer 1


Non-dispersive infrared absorption spectroscopy is commonly used to measure $\ce{CO}$ and $\ce{CO2}$ (and other gases, like methane and $\ce{NO2}$). The absorption overlap from water interferes with $\ce{CO2}$ measurements in particular but various algorithms can be used to mitigate this.

$\ce{NO2}$ is more commonly measured by chemiluminescence because of its high sensitivity, but FTIR and other techniques are used for higher levels (i.e. exhaust pipe and stack emissions).


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