Personal breathalyzer – Semiconductor or Fuel cell

Breathalyzer is necessary in many everyday situations – it will help you to avoid a morning stress and wondering if you can drive a car.The employer can check if the employee did not use alcohol and is able to work. Personal breathalyzers estimate the concentration of alcohol in the body by measuring the amount of alcohol exhaled from the lungs.

The sensor is the component inside a breathalyzer that reads and interprets your BAC. For personal use there are two types to consider, fuel cell sensors and semi-conductor sensors.

Advantages of Fuel Cell Technology over Semiconductor Technology

Breathalyzers that employ fuel cell technology offer an extremely high level of accuracy, sensitivity and reliability and with a smaller accuracy range of +/- 0.005%BAC.

Most fuel cell breathalyzers require recalibration only once per year or per 500 uses under normal use.

Fuel Cell breathalyzers have an expected working life of 3-5 years, while Semiconductor devices have a shorter lifespan.

Fuel Cell breathalyzers require only a short startup time and are able to take many consecutive readings without breaks.

Advantages of Semiconductor Breathalyzers

The advantage of semiconductor sensors is that they are very inexpensive to make. The disadvantages are that they use a lot of power, take time to warm up, are less stable over time, and will sometimes react to perfume, hairspray, gasoline, cigarette smoke, and breath substances such as acetone and ketones, even when no alcohol is present.

The relatively low cost and small size of these breathalyzers make them ideal for consumers who want to estimate their breath alcohol instead of accurately measuring it.


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