Dr. James Barry, a benthic biologist and senior scientist at Monterey Bay Research Institute (MBARI), suggests that the ocean absorbs one third of the human carbon dioxide (CO2) gas emissions in the atmosphere. These emissions have made the ocean 30% more acidic than it was a century ago – a process known as ‘ocean acidification’.
Dr. Barry and his team conducted a series of experiments using mass flow controllers to control mixtures of nitrogen (N2), oxygen (O2), and carbon dioxide (CO2) flowing into the aquarium tanks. Conditions were varied to mimic past, present, and future ocean conditions.
In the aquarium tanks, Dr. Barry measured the animals’ growth, development, and physiological responses to the CO2 stress. In his earlier experiments, Dr. Barry was not happy with the inconsistent data he obtained from the flow meters. Valuable research time was also lost recalibrating the instruments and painstakingly adjusting the flow rates on a daily basis.
In 2005, Dr. Barry and his team started using Sierra flow meters after being impressed by the Sierra SmarkTrak® 100's unique Pilot Module with Dial-a-Gas® capabilities. Simply at the press of a button on the Pilot Module, Dr. Barry was able to change the flow rates of CO2, N2, and O2 remotely and instantly, producing many different oceanic atmospheres in the aquarium tanks with the same set of conditions — the same temperature, water, and animals.
Now, Dr. Barry simply plugs the remote handheld Pilot Module into any one of the nine SmartTrak 100s, changes the gas flow rate (producing another atmosphere), and the new gas settings are delivered at a consistent rate. If the atmosphere has to be changed again, then Dr. Barry can enter the new flow rates quickly and easily.
"With the SmartTrak 100, it couldn't be easier––and faster." says Barry. This is what scientists value the most - getting time to focus on their research work instead of adjusting instruments.
Sierra’s SmartTrak 100 Features
The following features make Sierra’s SmartTrak 100 an ideal mass flow meter:
- Industry-leading powerful and frictionless-hovering control valve for flexibility and strength
- Control up to 10 gases with a single instrument using Dial-a-Gas feature
- Highly accurate digital mass flow control
- Pilot Module enables full read/set of all variables in the field
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Sierra Instruments.
For more information on this source, please visit Sierra Instruments.