Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology
Tech Info Library

Ethanol Sensor Troubleshooting and FAQ

Ethanol Sensor, order code ETH-BTA, $109
Specifications and User Guide

-Primary Test: Place the sensor over a sample containing 1% ethanol. The readings will rise within a minute to near 1%.
-Secondary Test: Verify that the sensor reads 0.01% or less in air after warming up for 5 minutes.
-Tertiary Test: Check the calibration screen to make sure the live voltage reading is stable and greater than 4.5V when not exposed to ethanol after warming up for 5 minutes.

Things to consider:

1.Did you allow the sensor to warm up? There is a 5 minute warm up period each time you plug the sensor in.

2.Is your data collection time long enough? Diffusion of gases is a fairly slow process and there are delays in readings.

3.Are you collecting in a controlled environment? Use the 250 mL Nalgene collection bottle and split stopper that is included with the sensor.

4.Is your expected concentration of ethanol too high for the sensor? If you are testing something with an expected ethanol concentration above 3%, dilute the sample before collecting.

5. The ethanol sensor cannot be used with Go!Link, order code GO-LINK, $69 as the sensor draws too much current.

Public List of TIL Entries for ETH-BTA
TIL 2858: Do the ethanol sensors need to warm up?
TIL 2859: Can Vernier ethanol sensors be used in liquid?
TIL 2860: Ethanol Sensor never reads zero.
TIL 2861: Do you have written instructions for experiments that use the Vernier ethanol sensors?
TIL 2862: How do I use the Ethanol sensor with a CO2 Gas sensor to measure fermentation?
TIL 2864: Do I need to calibrate Vernier ethanol sensors?
TIL 2854: What is the range of the Vernier ethanol sensors?
TIL 2906: Can I use Vernier ethanol sensors to measure the amount of ethanol produced from a fermentation?
TIL 2870: Why does my software identify the Ethanol Sensor as an Oxygen Gas Sensor?

Range: 0% to 3%
Accuracy (factory calibration): ±1.5% at 3%
Accuracy (custom calibration):
1-3%           ±0.5% at 3%,
0.1-1%           ±0.3% at 1%

13-bit (SensorDAQ): 0.01% from 2-3%
0.005% from 1-2%
0.0005% from 0-1%

12-bit (LabPro, LabQuest, LabQuest 2, TI-Nspire Lab Cradle, LabQuest Mini):
0.02% from 2-3%
0.01% from 1-2%
0.001% from 0-1%

10-bit (CBL 2)
0.1% from 2-3%
0.04% from 1-2%
0.004% from 0-1%

Response time 95% of full scale in 60 seconds (after initial warm up)

For experiments looking at rate of change, calibration is not necessary. For quantitative analysis, calibration is recommended. Follow the two point calibration procedure outlined in the sensor booklet or in TIL 2864: Do I need to calibrate Vernier ethanol sensors?
Calibration information for ETH-BTA:

Equation: power function
Y = C*X^p
C: -2.995
p: 0.9054

Ethanol Cap Assemblies (3), order code ETH-CAPS, $10
#6 Stopper for Ethanol Sensor, order code ETH-STOP, $4
Tape for Ethanol Sensor, order code ETH-TAPE, $3
250 mL Nalgene Bottle w/Lid, order code CO2-BTL, $5
BioChamber 2000, order code BC-2000, $22

Go to top