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29 January 2018

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Monitor - ISSN 1472-0221
The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 233, January 2018

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* Investigating bio-oil fuel production
* Your Data Acquisition Questions Answered
* Data Acquisition News Round-Up

Investigating bio-oil fuel production

Bio-oil is a synthetic fuel which can be used as a substitute for petroleum. It is obtained by heating dried biomass - such as wood or algae -in a reactor with subsequent cooling.

European researchers are investigating the effect of temperature on production of bio-oil from straw - an agricultural crop residue.

Straw in field after harvest
Photo credit David Hawgood, CC BY-SA 2.0

During the process they used a Microlink 751 data acquisition unit with Windmill data logging software to regularly record readings from K-type thermocouples.

With the help of the Microlink, the scientists found that the maximum bio-oil yield occurred at 450 degrees C, but the highest energy yield was obtained at 480 degrees C.

The research will be published in Fuel Processing Technology Volume 172, April 2018, Pages 97-105. It is available online now at

For more details of the Microlink thermocouple measuring system, which is currently half price, see

Your Data Acquisition Questions Answered

Last month we answered a question about using Windmill to parse the 009 character when logging data. One of our readers suggested that we explain that the 009 character is a tab.

"I thought it would be helpful if you mention that '009' character is the horizontal tab. It is used quite a bit as a deliminator when the software can be confused by commas '044' and decimal '046' points in the transmitted data.

Here in Norway the currency presentation switches the comma and decimal representation "$1,234.56" would be "$1.234,56

This makes coding/decoding a value more interesting."

Bob Clarke
Larvik Norway

Thanks Bob.

To buy or find out more about Windmill software, go to It is still just £50 with free technical support for life and a money back guarantee. But hurry - that offer is set to change soon.

DAQ News Round-up

Welcome to our round-up of the data acquisition and control news. If you would like to receive more timely DAQ news updates then follow us on Twitter - @DataAcquisition - or grab our rss feed.

Seal whiskers inspire vortex sensor

A new materials-based whisker sensor made of polyurethane, graphene and copper tape can detect an underwater vortex with very high sensitivity. It can be used on underwater robots for better positional control, navigation and object detection.
Source: SCUBA News

Seal whiskers

Global Internet of Things Market to Grow 21.6% Annually Through 2022

Already the number of devices connected to the internet exceeds the number of people in the world, and by 2022 there will be an average of four connected devices per person globally, says BCC Research
Source: BCC Research

Graphene sensors could revolutionise the internet of thing

By layering graphene-oxide over graphene to create a flexible structure, a team from Manchester University have developed humidity sensors for remote sensing with the ability to connect to any wireless network.
Source: Manchester University

Engineers make wearable sensors for plants

Graphene-based, sensors-on-tape can be attached to plants and provide new kinds of data to researchers and farmers.
Source: Iowa State University

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