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EOSENSE Launches 3 New Products

Eosense, the Dartmouth company that makes instruments to detect gases escaping from the ground, is appearing at the American Geophysical Union this week with three new products on display.

The company, formerly called Forerunner Research, is dedicated to making rugged, low-power devices that can detect carbon dioxide and other gases escaping from the ground. These products help scientists assess such things as carbon dioxide leaks from industrial sites or monitor gas emissions in the North.

Today, the company is launching its eosFD portable soil carbon dioxide flux sensor, a stand-alone product that can log data collected by sensors. This follows the release last week of two products that support the greenhouse gas analyzers produced by Eosense’s partner, Los Gatos Research in Mountain View, Calif.

“These launches are validation for our technical team,” Eosense CEO Gordon McArthur said in a phone interview Monday from San Francisco.

The big news is the release of the eosFD, which is a low-power device that can be deployed with gaps between each unit of metres or kilometres. That means it can monitor carbon dioxide seepage in a vast area, opening up new possibilities for field researchers.

The eosFD weighs only 1.6 kilograms, which the company says makes it truly portable. Operating with Eosense’s patented forced diffusion technology, it requires little power and can be left in the field for up to one year without being checked.

“The eosFD is why we created this company; it’s the first commercial sensor to change the way flux is measured,” Eosense chief scientist Nick Nickerson said in a statement.

“Forced diffusion results in something quite different from traditional methods, (and) we are looking forward to the creative ways in which scientists will use it.”

Eosense’s technology was developed at a St. Francis Xavier University lab run by David Risk, and it is gaining traction mainly with researchers but also with energy companies. The company’s clients include the University of California at Berkeley, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

In February, the company was one of eight accepted into the fourth cohort of the accelerator operated by Surge Ventures of Houston, a funding and mentoring organization specializing in energy technology.

Risk said in the statement he developed forced diffusion technology to measure CO2 leakage in soil in harsh environments, such as the Canadian Arctic.

“In fact, my Antarctic FD has now delivered year-round CO2 soil fluxes for five years running, on a small solar panel,” said Risk.

The new products give researchers a system built for the rigours of fieldwork, said the company. It also marks further success for Eosense because it is working with one of the world’s leading companies in measuring gases.

“It’s exciting for Nova Scotia as a whole,” said Matt Herdon, Eosense’s marketing and sales manager, during the interview.

“This is home-brewed patentable technology that will be used around the world.”