Climate Research More Important Than Ever

How KNF pumps enable climate projects of the present and future

The wildfires in the Amazon rainforest are still raging. According to current knowledge, these fires could have a considerable impact on the global climate. Every tree that falls victim to the inferno not only loses the opportunity to store CO₂, but also returns a large amount of stored carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.


Global politics, collective ambition and well-founded climate research results are a few efforts which help counter climate change. However, the foundation for climate initiatives and to trigger change requires genuine data, generated by reliable measuring instruments. We need to make a qualified assessment of effects and causes and base activities on these results. But how is this data generated?

Above the tops of the rainforest

Air measurement plays an important role for future environmental projects, but especially in the current situation. The aetholometer above the Amazon was a KNF collaborative project long before the recent tragic wildfires. The researchers could not have predicted the occurrence of such an unfortunate event, but the data collected by the unit will provide them with more information about the impact of the fires with the topic of global climate change.


The ATTO Tower, built in the Amazon rainforest in 2015, is a milestone in the further development of environmental regulations and global climate targets. It has a Magee Scientific measuring station equipped with an enduring diaphragm gas pump. It is no coincidence that the giant tower (325 meters high) was built in the middle of the world’s largest rainforest. The atmosphere there has special characteristics that provide researchers with groundbreaking insights which enable the development of improved climate models. The impact of the current forest fires on the global climate can also be depicted in this way.


Installed at a height of 150 meters an aethalometer measures carbon fluxes and aerosols from different air layers. The measurement results collected on the ATTO Tower provide smooth data on the greenhouse gas balance and the complex interactions between the land surface and the atmosphere.


Due to the difficult site accessibility and the dizzying height of the aethalometer, the participating researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz and the Universidad Federal de Minas Gerais rely on the long-term performance of the KNF pump, N 86, which is completely maintenance-free.

On the roads of Copenhagen

This is the very same technology that is driving through the streets of Copenhagen: We all know that clean air is essential for a healthy life on earth. More than ever, this also concerns the urban population. According to the World Health Organization, over 90 percent of the world’s population breathes polluted air. In an effort to enable us to make more informed decisions and accelerate efforts in transition to a healthier, more sustainable city, Google started a pilot project in 2014: they equipped several Street-View vehicles in the USA with air quality measurement devices in order to take measurements of three urban air pollutants – black carbon particles (BC), nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).


The success of the pilot project inspired other countries to use this type of particulate measurement: since October 2018 equipped with an Aethalometer from the Slovenian company Aerosol d.o.o. two Google Street View cars have been on the road in Copenhagen to take a closer look at the air of the Danish capital.


Marketed under the name Magee Scientific, the installed measuring device features a double headed KNF diaphragm pump: The N 86 model. This pump delivers a defined volume of ambient air to the analysis unit of the instrument where the air is tested for black carbon.

Learn more

These are just two of the many applications that utilize diaphragm pump technology. If you’d like to learn more don’t hesitate to contact us.

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