Formaldehyde sensing made easy

Sensirion has launched its new formaldehyde sensor module, the SFA30. The SFA30’s innovative electrochemical cell design, dedicated electronics including an onboard Sensirion humidity and temperature sensor, and advanced algorithms, enables highly reliable and selective formaldehyde detection at very low concentrations. This new sensor thus targets the appliance market focusing on indoor air purification and ventilation systems as well as indoor air quality monitors.

Formaldehyde is typically released slowly and continuously from furniture, building materials, paint and coatings. It is a harmful and carcinogenic gas that causes conditions such as “sick building syndrome”. Caused by inadequate ventilation and chemical contaminants from indoor sources, “sick building syndrome” can lead to various symptoms for building occupants such as acute discomfort, headache, eye, nose, or throat irritation, dizziness and nausea, difficulty in concentrating, fatigue, and sensitivity to odours. Formaldehyde is a background gas known to be relevant in very low concentrations. The World Health Organization (WHO) for example establishes an indoor air quality guideline for exposure to formaldehyde of only 80 ppb as a 30-minute average.

Adding to Sensirion’s environmental sensor portfolio, the new SFA30 formaldehyde sensor module is based on an amperometric electrochemical working principle. It provides unrivalled formaldehyde sensing performance enabled by an ultra-low cross-sensitivity to other VOCs. Relying on Sensirion’s experience in environmental sensing and a patented electrochemical cell with anti-dry technology, the SFA30 offers excellent long-term stability and an outstanding six-year service lifetime. The on-board humidity and temperature sensor provides accurate readings and enables a fully temperature and humidity-compensated and factory-calibrated formaldehyde concentration output in ppb (parts-per-billion). With selectable digital UART and I2C interface options, a standard electrical connector, and versatile mounting options it offers customers the perfect solution for easily integrating a highly reliable sensor into their application.

“By having improved performance, long-term stability and reliability with our new formaldehyde sensor module, we were able to tackle an issue in existing technologies, making formaldehyde sensing easy and truly trustworthy,” says Niculin Saratz, Director Product Management Gas Sensors at Sensirion.

The new SFA30 sensor module is now available worldwide through Sensirion’s distribution network. Additionally, Sensirion offers the SEK-SFA30 evaluation kit for fast and easy prototyping. The SEK-SFA30 comes with a UART-USB cable for a plug-and-play connection to a PC and evaluation with Sensirion’s easy-to-use SEK-ControlCenter viewer software. For connecting the sensor to prototyping platforms such as Arduino or RaspberryPi, a 7-pin jumper wire cable is provided.

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