Metal oxide gas sensor array for the detection of diesel fuel in engine oil

Institute of Microelectronics and Microsystems (CNR-IMM)-Lecce Via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Sensors and Actuators B Chemical (Impact Factor: 4.1). 04/2008; 131(1):125-133. DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2007.12.029


We developed a novel method to detect the presence of unburned diesel fuel in lubricating oil for internal combustion engine. The method is based on the use of an array of different gas microsensors based on metal oxide thin films deposited by sol–gel technique on Si substrates. The sensor array, exposed to the volatile chemical species of different diesel fuel engine oil samples contaminated in different percentages by diesel fuel, resulted to be appreciably sensitive to them. Principal component analysis (PCA) and self-organizing map (SOM) applied to the sensor response data set gave a first proof of the sensor array ability to discriminate among the different diesel fuel diluted lubricating oils. Moreover, in order to get information about the headspace composition of the diesel fuel-contaminated engine oils used for gas-sensing tests, we analysed the engine oil samples by static headspace solid phase micro-extraction/gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (SHS-SPME/GC/MS).

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