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Investigating the Cost Difference Between Dissolved Oxygen Meter Technologies

by:BOQU     2023-06-01

Investigating the Cost Difference Between Dissolved Oxygen Meter Technologies

Dissolved oxygen meters are instruments used to measure the concentration of oxygen in a liquid or gas. These meters are essential in water treatment plants, aquaculture farms, and laboratories conducting research in environmental science, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals. The accuracy of these meters is critical, and choosing the right technology could be the difference between success and failure in your process. In this article, we explore the cost difference between dissolved oxygen meter technologies and what to consider when purchasing one.

Why is Dissolved Oxygen Important?

Dissolved oxygen is essential for the survival of aquatic animals, plants, and microbes. Aquatic animals require oxygen to breathe, just like humans, and without sufficient oxygen, the animals become stressed and could eventually die. Additionally, aquatic plants use oxygen during respiration and require it to carry out photosynthesis. The concentration of oxygen in water is also an indicator of water quality. Low concentrations of oxygen can lead to water pollution, sedimentation, and an increase in algae and bacteria growth. Measuring dissolved oxygen is critical to assessing the health of aquatic systems.

Dissolved Oxygen Meter Technologies

There are different types of dissolved oxygen meter technologies, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The two common technologies include optical sensors and electrochemical sensors.

Optical Sensors

Optical sensors use a fluorescent dye that is sensitive to oxygen to measure the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the water. The sensor emits light, which excites the dye to produce a proportional fluorescent signal. The signal is read by the sensor and converted to an oxygen concentration reading.


Optical sensors have a long lifespan, and the risk of electrode fouling is minimal. The sensors are easy to use and require no calibration or maintenance.


Optical sensors are expensive to purchase compared to electrochemical sensors. The sensors are also affected by temperature changes, and slight changes in temperature can affect the sensor's accuracy.

Electrochemical Sensors

Electrochemical sensors use a membrane-covered electrode to measure the concentration of dissolved oxygen in water. The oxygen reacts with the membrane surface, generating an electrical current. The current is proportional to the oxygen concentration in the solution, and the meter displays the reading.


Electrochemical sensors are inexpensive compared to optical sensors. The meters are resistant to temperature changes, and the readings are stable over time.


Electrochemical sensors require frequent calibration and maintenance. The electrodes are prone to fouling and need replacement periodically.

Cost Differences Between the Two Technologies

The cost of dissolved oxygen meters is dependent on factors such as the technology, features, and brands. Optical sensors are typically more expensive than electrochemical sensors. A basic optical sensor meter could cost anywhere between $400 and $900, while an electrochemical sensor meter could cost between $100 and $300.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Dissolved Oxygen Meter

When choosing a dissolved oxygen meter, consider the following factors:

1. Accuracy

The accuracy of the meter is critical to the success of your process. Choose a meter with a high accuracy rating.

2. Budget

Your budget will determine the type of meter you can purchase. Consider the features and technology needed for your application.

3. Maintenance

Consider the maintenance required for the meter. Some meters require frequent calibration and replacement of parts.

4. Durability

Choose a meter that can withstand harsh conditions and is durable.

5. Ease of use

Consider the ease of use of the meter. A user-friendly meter will save you time and reduce errors.


Dissolved oxygen meters are essential instruments in aquatic systems, and choosing the right technology is critical. Optical sensors are expensive but require minimal calibration and maintenance, while electrochemical sensors are relatively cheap but need frequent calibration and maintenance. Consider the accuracy, budget, maintenance, durability, and ease of use when choosing a dissolved oxygen meter.

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