An assessment of three different in situ oxygen sensors for monitoring silage production and storage

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Oxygen (O2) concentration inside the substrate is an important measurement for silage-research and-practical management. In the laboratory gas chromatography is commonly employed for O2measurement. Among sensor-based techniques, accurate and reliable in situ measurement is rare because of high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) generated by the introduction of O2 in the silage. The presented study focused on assessing three types of commercial O2 sensors, including Clark oxygen electrodes (COE), galvanic oxygen cell (GOC) sensors and the Dräger chip measurement system (DCMS). Laboratory cross calibration of O2 versus CO2 (each 0–15 vol.%) was made for the COE and the GOC sensors. All calibration results verified that O2measurements for both sensors were insensitive to CO2. For the O2 in situ measurement in silage, all O2 sensors were first tested in two sealed barrels (diameter 35.7 cm; height: 60 cm) to monitor the O2 depletion with respect to the ensiling process (Test-A). The second test (Test-B) simulated the silage unloading process by recording the O2 penetration dynamics in three additional barrels, two covered by dry ice (0.6 kg or 1.2 kg of each) on the top surface and one without. Based on a general comparison of the experimental data, we conclude that each of thesein situ sensor monitoring techniques for O2 concentration in silage exhibit individual advantages and limitations.




Shan, G., Sun, Y., Li, M., Jungbluth, K. H., Maack, C., Buescher, W., … Ma, D. (2016). An assessment of three different in situ oxygen sensors for monitoring silage production and storage. Sensors (Switzerland), 16(1).

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