Welcome to EnviroDIY, a community for do-it-yourself environmental science and monitoring. EnviroDIY is part of WikiWatershed, an initiative of Stroud Water Research Center designed to help people advance knowledge and stewardship of fresh water.
New to EnviroDIY? Start here

Multi-chamber soil respirometer

Commercial systems that measure carbon dioxide for  soil respiration experiments can be very expensive, but we built one for a fraction of the cost.  The controller is based on an Arduino Uno, with a datalogger shield for storing the collected data, and a Macetech Centipede Shield.   The measurement system is a Licor LI-840 CO2 analyzer which outputs its data every second using XML strings via an RS232 port.  The Arduino controller interprets the XML data and stores the desired parameters on the SD memory card.  It also displays the live data on a 4-line LCD display.  The centipede  shield allows us to control 120 separate solenoid valves to allow air to flow to the gas analyzer from any of the 60 chambers, mounted in a temperature-controlled water bath below the valve system.  Each chamber has two solenoids – one for inlet air from a circulation pump, and one for outlet air, to the gas analyzer.  The chambers are normally vented to the outside, and only one chamber is closed at a time, in 5 minute increments.   By cycling through each chamber, we are able to measure the rate of change in the CO2 concentration when that chamber is put into a closed loop.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

This looks awesome! Would love to build something similar for an experimental multi-level soil-gas sampler. Would you be able to post a list of components and a basic connection scheme somewhere?


5 years ago


Is it possible to have more information on this soil respirometer you’ve developped?

Best regards

Davey Jones
5 years ago

We have an old PP Systems multi-channel unit which I would like to adapt based on your system. If you have any extra info that would be super

Click to jump to comments section.x