An Electronic Device for Detecting Adulteration of Petroleum Products at Point-of-Sale Terminals

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Aaron Onyan


This work presents the design and implementation of a locally made portable electronic device for detecting adulteration of petroleum products (petrol and diesel) at point-of-sale (POS) terminals. The device uses the chemical signature of emitted vapour of petroleum products to check for adulteration. The device consists of an ATmega328P microcontroller programmed with the source code for controlling the entire system, MQ-4 and MQ-6 Gas Sensors for detecting the constituent gases in the samples, GPS and GSM modules for communication, a Keypad for selecting desired inputs, and a Buck Converter that regulates the voltage to the desired constant values. The gas sensors are placed over a container sealed with a sample of petroleum product for less than 1 minute, during which time the sensors send signals to the microcontroller. The microcontroller analyzes the signals, generates a result, and then sends information to approved mobile phone numbers through GPS and GSM. The electronic device developed in this work provides a test result when it senses and analyzes vapour emitted by a petroleum product for concentrations of methane, iso-butane, and natural gas, thus obtaining the chemical emission signature of the sample of petroleum product being checked for adulteration. Thereafter, it displays the result on a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and transmits the data and location to authorized mobile phone numbers via SMS if the product is detected to be adulterated.

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