Air quality gas analyzers

The Serinus range of analysers for monitoring gases in ambient & indoor air

The air we breathe is perhaps our greatest natural resource, and along with water, provides the building blocks for our survival as a human species, as well as the sustainability of all life forms — both plant and animal. The advent of worldwide industrialisation and the exponential growth of populations are two of the main instigators of the rise of toxic and dangerous gases in the atmosphere. While proactive changes to lifestyles and combustion processes are perhaps the best way to control and curb these, accurate air quality monitoring of these gases in ambient air is considered the optimal way to manage and minimise their impact on our collective health and wellbeing.

Our Serinus® range of gas monitoring analysers

Acoem specialises in instruments and analysers that monitor a wide variety of gases from background/trace levels, through ambient and up to stack levels. We also develop, manufacture and maintain air quality gas analysers that measure hydrocarbons, greenhouse gases, gas isotopes and gases within process environments.

Named after the ‘Serinus’ — a genus of small birds in the finch family to which the canary belongs, our air quality gas analyser brand name was conceived in the context of a ‘canary in a coalmine.’ Canaries were historically used in coal mines to detect the presence of carbon monoxide, which helped protect the miners’ air quality. So too, the modern Serinus range of gas monitoring equipment  was designed to safeguard the air we breathe and detect excessive levels of pollutants. 

We produce Serinus® analysers to efficiently and accurately monitor the following main gas pollutants that affect our ability to breathe clean air:

  • Carbon monoxide (CO): a potential lethal colourless & odourless gas produced by burning gasoline, wood, propane, charcoal or other fuel
  • Ground level ozone (03): the main component of smog & the product of the interaction between sunlight & emissions from vehicles & industry which can significantly affect the lungs
  • Oxides of nitrogen (NOx): includes NO & NO2 poisonous, highly reactive gases that form when fuel is burned at high temperature, impacting the lungs & respiration
  • Sulfur dioxide (SO2): a toxic gas that smells like burnt matches that can be released naturally by volcanic activity or produced as a by-product of copper extraction & burning of sulfur-bearing fossil fuels, affecting respiratory systems & eyes.

Additional Serinus® analysers are available that include monitoring capabilities for Total Reduced Sulfur (TRS), Total Sulfur (TS), Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) and Ammonia NH3.

Serinus® are the instruments of choice of researchers and government authorities and form an integral part of thousands of Acoem Continuous Air Quality Monitoring Systems operating in 80+ countries worldwide.

Air quality gas monitoring for environmental protection

Clean air is made up of nitrogen, oxygen and argon, with traces of other gases such as carbon dioxide. What we classify as air pollutants generally originate from the emission of gases and particles, mostly from industrial activity, motor vehicles and domestic wood burning.  There are also natural sources such as windblown dust and smoke from fires and volcanic eruptions. 

Some forms of air pollution create crises that require wider and more collaborative global responses, for example, acid rain and climate change due to upper-atmosphere ozone depletion and the greenhouse effect. While monitoring is a step in the right direction, it cannot solve pollution problems without a systemic change to the choices we make as individuals, societies, governments and industries. 

Monitored accurately, gas concentration levels are used as key indicators of air quality, alerting researchers, industries and authorities to exceedances that can cause significant health problems, aggravate existing respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis, increase the risk of respiratory issues and reduce life expectancy.

To protect the environment against harmful and unhealthy levels of gas pollutants, Environmental Protection Agencies (EPAs) around the world adopt standards that set gas exposure limits (in addition to harmful particulate emissions) to protect the health and wellbeing of humans, plants and animals. These policies cover all the major environmental pollutants as well as specific industrial pollutants. There are more stringent controls on industrial discharges that may be highly toxic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has set a number of universal health-based recommended guidelines on the ‘safe’ level of outdoor (ambient) air pollution which it encourages cities to adopt. In addition to particulate matter monitoring, it recommends limits for 

  • Ground level ozone (O3)
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
  • Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
  • Carbon monoxide (CO).

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