2011-2012 Team Design: Zinc-Air Battery Based Oxygen Analyzer
Medical oxygen is used extensively in emergency and critical care situations. ICUs throughout Africa use O2 concentrators (as opposed to bottled gases in Central America and O2 micro production plants in the US). Seeing as O2 is an odorless, clear gas, the hospital staff cannot tell if the concentrator is putting out 22% O2 (room air) or 95% O2 (proper function) until a baby dies in the incubator or a patient turns very blue in the OR.
Our Senior Design Team has decided to address the oxygen monitoring need in developing countries through the use of a cost-efficient and easily mass-produced oxygen analyzer based on a common zinc battery. As a safer alternative to the widely-used and potentially volatile open flame test, our proposed solution utilizes the current produced when a zinc battery reacts with the oxygen in its environment. A microprocessor will analyze the current produced and will illuminate one of three different LEDs depending on the oxygen concentration.
Our 2010-2011 team poster: