Breathalyzers are devices that measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath. They are used for various purposes, such as law enforcement, workplace testing, and personal monitoring. There are two main types of breathalyzers: fuel cell and semiconductor.
Fuel cell breathalyzers use an electrochemical reaction to detect alcohol. When a person blows into the device, the alcohol in their breath reacts with a platinum electrode and produces an electric current. The higher the alcohol concentration, the higher the current. The device then converts the current into a breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) reading.
Semiconductor breathalyzers use a metal oxide sensor to detect alcohol. When a person blows into the device, the alcohol in their breath changes the resistance of the sensor. The lower the resistance, the higher the alcohol concentration. The device then calculates the BrAC based on the resistance.
Both types of breathalyzers have advantages and disadvantages. Fuel cell breathalyzers are more accurate, reliable, and consistent than semiconductor breathalyzers. They are less affected by temperature, humidity, and other substances in the breath. They also have a longer lifespan and require less calibration. However, fuel cell breathalyzers are more expensive, bulky, and complex than semiconductor breathalyzers.
Semiconductor breathalyzers are cheaper, smaller, and simpler than fuel cell breathalyzers. They are more convenient and user-friendly for personal use. However, semiconductor breathalyzers are less accurate, reliable, and consistent than fuel cell breathalyzers. They are more prone to false positives, interference, and deterioration. They also have a shorter lifespan and require more frequent calibration.
In conclusion, fuel cell breathalyzers and semiconductor breathalyzers have different strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the purpose, budget, and preference of the user, one type may be more suitable than the other.