Automated soil respiration sensor using CO2 sensor

Hey all, been talking to @dusjagr and realizing we haven’t been sharing very well some neat stuff we’ve been working on.

Automated Soil Respiration Sensor

@Albercook has been working on automating a process we’ve been using in our lab for measuring soil respiration (a general estimate of soil biological activity). The standard test is the ‘24 hour burst method’ and measures the co2 producing of biology in the soil after it is whetted.

We’re almost to something we’re going to test out in the lab - our goals and specifications were laid out here:

Specifications + Motivation:

I’m hoping that @Albercook can also put this into the Journal of OH @jcm80 and @Tobey.

I think George it’s time to start documenting a bit more and sharing here, now that we have something interesting looking and prettier pictures :slight_smile: Excited to share more and hopeful that this can help democratize and simplify large scale soil sampling…

Would also love ideas about alternative use cases… what else can we measure … nitrogen offgassing? maybe there’s something clever we can do with soil and VOCs + some wet chem process… Anyway, this device is a pretty good general purpose and high throughput device for weigh, generate pore volume, add liquid(s), temp control, measure case (continuous or one time).


Hi all

Thanks @gbathree !!

We have been working on a simple static soil resp chamber to use on field following the one from Hackteria. Right now we are just making some tests. We uses de MH-Z19 (winsen) sensor because is cheap and was locally available. It’s kind of noisy do…
It would be great if we can take a look at your work @Albercook… and hopefully collaborate :slight_smile:

I will put more info of our prototype asp


Soil and CO2 geeks unite!

We finally got hands on a bunch of sponsored direct from factory CO2 sensors, the newest from Sensirions high-end stuffs…

It’s all part of our research within UROŠ, which has started during the last weeks. More about UROŠ - Ubiquitous Rural Open Science Hardware in this forum.

Sofar we received 15 breakout boards with the SCD41, and hopefully we get another whole batch of the pure sensors, so we can design our own “branded” circuit board (even before it’s being release or shipped by adaftruit and seeed etc.)

The sensor prize is in the range of 50 USD, so it’s kinda cheaper than most others… but more expensive than the popular MH-Z19 from the chinese manufacturer Winsen.

First measurements in my smokey forest house show faster reaction times and the included humidity sensor is also practical. The library is super complete, and allows more in-depth interaction with the sensor, calibrations, altitude correction, etc… precision is guaranteed from 0 - 5000 ppm, but it can read values up to 40’000 ppm. Also the I2C should allow to add many sensors to the same microcontroller, unlike the winsen which was a serial comm.
So it’s use in greenhouse or fermentation monitoring should be possible. The small footprint might bring some other application ideas for Open Science Hardware aswell, beyond the standard use case for indoor air quality monitoring.

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Meanwhile we have shipped our sponsored sensor brkout boards (sensirion SCD41) to the collaborators, @squaresolid and @nanocastro , to be able to work on the same setup in the coming weeks of UROŠ Temporary Autonomous Lab.

What’s inside the SCD41

We are documenting continoulsy on the hackteria wiki. You will also find some interesting hacks with the sensor, looking inside…

Breakout-board PCB

Meanwhile first other open hardware developer have started producing boards, eg. Seeed and Adafruit, sadly we didn’t manage to be “the first” to have them available… seeed started shipping them for approx 50 USD. If you buy the bare sensor, prizes will go down to ca 30 USD if you buy 100s. Or even lower for the SCD40 (which is less accurate).

But we finally got around to design our own PCB breakout board and waiting for delivery. Hopefully get more of those sensors sponsored to be spread amongst other GOSHers around the globe. Testing other use-cases (beyond air-quality), such as green house monitoring, soil respiration, CO2 plant grow box control, fish-farming… you name it.

UROŠ goes Kriptomania and NFT!

And YES!!! @dusjagr just minted an NFT on openSea for “the first” UROŠ pcb design.

You can find it here on OpenSea marketplace