Latest from the Picarro Blog
- May 17, 2011 - 8:34pm — Eric Crosson
I'm Eric Crosson, the CTO of Picarro. I spend a lot of my time out in the field, talking to our customers, learning what they are thinking about so we can make sure that our technology roadmap matches their needs. Lately I've been driving around in circles in Boston and the Bay Area looking for methane leaks. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that has roughly 25 times the warming effect on Earth per molecule than does carbon dioxide.
- May 11, 2011 - 12:08pm — Carolyn Grewal
Final Exam Question #17 – What is a Picarro and how does it work?
As a Picarro sales engineer, I spend much of my time discussing our products with university professors, researchers, post-docs, Ph.D. candidates, grad students, etc. Picarro is connected to academia but we hadn't really connected yet with undegrads - the future scientists. That's changing.
Stable Isotopes and Marijuana: How U.S. Customs and Border Control Uses Picarro for Cannabis AnalysisMay 3, 2011 - 10:59am — Nabil Saad
I'm Nabil Saad and I'm a senior applications scientist at Picarro. I'll be blogging periodically about applications development around stable isotopes. There is a lot going on. So last month we delivered a brand new Picarro Combustion Module-Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer (CM-CRDS) to the U.S. Customs and Borders Protection (CBP), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. The initial purpose of the CM-CRDS was to smoke marijuana. No, really.
- April 28, 2011 - 10:30am — Alex Salkever
We blogged previously about carbon sequestration and its a topic we watch closely. You may have read that earlier this week Saskatchewan approved plans for a commercial-scale carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project.
- April 24, 2011 - 7:35pm — Alex Salkever
Yet another article in PLoS One that uses stable isotopes to glean critical insights from fossils of long-dead animals. A mixed team including researchers from France, Thailand, Germany and Myanmar examined stable isotopes in the teeth of fossils of an extinct genus of horse called Hipparion found near the remains of a type of ape (a hominoid) to determine the nature of the environment when the creatures were alive.
- April 15, 2011 - 8:55am — Alex Salkever
The image you see here is Ed Wahl, the guy who runs all our QA and testing on analyzers posing as a proud papa with the first Picarro analyzer that we manufactured and shipped out of our brand new state-of-the-art facility. This one is going to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a new customer we are very excited about. They set all sorts of standards for how things are measured in the U.S. and what's considered acceptable in the world of measurement. As many of you know, we're growing very quickly.
- April 13, 2011 - 6:52pm — Aaron Van Pelt
Several of us from Picarro spent a week in Vienna talking to scientists from all around the world. For those of us "manning the booth," conferences like EGU and AGU are both exciting and exhausting -- getting the instruments shipped, setting up the demonstrations, daily on our feet, engaged in conversations. You can see in the thumbnail picture here that it was busy -- it was like that all day, every day of the meeting.
- April 11, 2011 - 1:17pm — Alex Salkever
Sometime in the distant past, grazing animals on the African Savannah switched their diets from trees and shrubs to grasses. And carbon isotopes tell the tale.
- April 4, 2011 - 3:29pm — Gloria Jacobson
Discussions on the topic of atmospheric research almost inevitably invoke some form of the question: What is the source? Talk to most atmospheric scientists about this question and usually one of the first things they will mention is the inherent difficulty in separating out man-made emissions from Mother Nature's normal, but complex cycles. Combustion engines and gas pipeline leaks release CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, but then again, so does the annual spring thaw in the Northern Hemisphere.
Picarro at EGU 2011 in Vienna: Three New Products, Three Recent Products, Lots of Great Customer InteractionApril 4, 2011 - 11:07am — Alex Salkever
There are two big conferences that we pull out the stops on - the American Geophysical Union annual meeting in San Francisco and the European Geoscience Union annual meeting in Vienna. This is EGU 2011 and we are on the floor (in Booth 49). Like other companies, we like to launch new products around these shows because its the best time to get guaranteed facetime with potential customers who are usually scattered around the globe.
IM-CRDS: Finally, A Better Way to Extract and Analyze Water Isotopes from Plant Leafs, Soils, Tissues - Precise Data in <5 MinsApril 4, 2011 - 10:26am — Alex Salkever
At Picarro, we not only like to make great instruments but we also like to deliver real-world solutions to difficult problems facing scientists. Extracting water samples for isotopic analysis from plant leafs, stems, soils, small organisms and other small samples has been a difficult problem. Legacy technology required massive cryogenic distillation systems that occupy an entire lab bench, require a highly-skilled technician to process a sample, and also required a large sample volume to distill down. Oh, and the process took 90 minutes or more.
- March 31, 2011 - 10:07am — Alex Salkever
We were excited to see that Picarro customer Earth Networks has won an award as one of the 10 Big Idea winners for the Earth2Tech/Gigaom Green:Net conference this April. The award went to Earth Networks in a large part because of their ambitious plan to build the world's largest and first privately funded greenhouse gas measurement network.
Carbon Sequestration with Verification: Monitoring Carbon Capture and Sequestration Projects is Good Science, Good ValueMarch 29, 2011 - 8:29am — Alex Salkever
In Europe and the in North America a variety of big carbon sequestration projects are taking shape. Futuregen, the huge next generation coal-fired power plant in Illinois (pictured here), would involve a massive sequestration effort with injection of CO2 deep into rock formations beneath the surface.
- March 11, 2011 - 6:11am — Aaron Van Pelt
Recognize this? You could take a picture like this in almost any lab around the world. Carefully taped on the front of a tremendously expensive, state of the art piece of equipment, a little rectangle of paper with the name and number of the person to call when the darn thing breaks. You can find these cards everywhere - in research institution, industrial plants, academic labs. Sometimes the card is yellowed with age, or covered with amendments, additional numbers, and notes on how to make the darn thing work.
- March 10, 2011 - 4:54pm — Alex Salkever
This is a picture from one of our customers / collaborators, John Stix and fellow intrepid researchers from the Earth and Planetary Sciences Deparment at McGill University in Canada. We believe this is the first time anyone has driven a live, running anallyzer up and down a smoking volcano to capture gas concentration samples.
- March 10, 2011 - 3:33pm — Alex Salkever
A fascinating question scientists have long entertained is why do most bats primarily choose to fly at night? And why have they evolved so heavily towards nocturnal activity? The strongest hypothesis about this related to predator avoidance. But no one knew exactly why.
- March 8, 2011 - 5:09pm — Aaron Van Pelt
We're in an interesting spot, providing instruments to such a wide variety of folks – we have thought leaders in the greenhouse gas and isotope world who have years of experience using and development their own instruments and measurement methods. On the other end, we have entering undergraduate students who find themselves in front of one of our analyzers – and being able to produce data with it with virtually no training, since the instruments are easy to use and reasonably inexpensive relative to earlier technology… and that’s a good thing, though there are caveats.