CO2 Meter (for incubators)

Model: FD-90A-CO2-10%
User Manual: Click Here
Blog Article: Click Here


  • ⚛️ DETECT: Single-gas detector for carbon dioxide, 0 - 10% with 0.01% resolution. Comes FACTORY-CALIBRATED.
  • 🔋ACCURACY: Dual Beam NDIR sensor with accuracy: ≤ 5% F.S. and response time: T < 30 sec. Zero and span calibration options.
  • 🎆 ALARMS: Adjustable audio, visual, and vibration alarms alert when preset levels are reached.
  • 💪 STRONG: Shockproof, water-resistant, dust-proof, and explosion-proof.
  • 🕵️ TRUSTWORTHY: 1-year limited warranty. Product tested and verified in the USA.

Technical Specifications

Carbon dioxide (CO2) detection: 0 - 10% with 0.01% resolution
Accuracy: ≤ ± 5% F.S
Response time: T < 30 sec
Indication: LCD indicates the time, concentration, temp, and battery state
Alarm: Indication of alarm, fault, and low voltage with LED, sound, vibration
Operating temperature: 0F - 122F
Humidity: < 95% RH non-condensing
Operating voltage: DC 3.7V Li-battery, 1500 mAh
Working time: > 24 hours
Charging time: 4 hours
Sensor life: up to 7 years
Protection category: IP65
Weight: about 130g (including battery)
Calibration: USA NIST Traceable Gas Source

Video Tutorial

In the Box?

  • CO2 Meter
  • English user manual
  • USB Charging Cable
  • Belt Clip and Sling
  • Calibration Cap Cover
  • USA NIST Calibration Certificate
  • USA Technical Support
carbon dioxide CO2 package ppm levels in air
APPLICATIONS - CO2 for Incubators
- CO2 Work Occupational Exposure
- CO2 for Confined Spaces
- CO2 Inspection and Assessment
- CO2 for Restraurants, Breweries, Hydroponics, Grow Rooms

CO2 Meter for Incubators

A perfect detector to check and monitor your biological incubator CO2% levels that are typically set to 5%. Constructed for laboratory, industrial, and scientific use.  Excellent for isolated CO2 measurement in tanks, incubators, storage rooms, fermentation processes, and industrial processes. For those seeking a higher range over 10%, we recommend our 0-100% CO2 Analyzer. For those requiring ppm level for indoor air quality, we have our 0-5000ppm CO2 Analyzer.

CO2 Meter Carbon Dioxide

CO2 Meter for Incubator Comparison Chart

We offer a variety of CO2 meters and analyzers. Here we show a comparison chart of some of them to highlight key CO2 meter differences.

carbon dioxide meter comparison chart

What is a CO2 Meter for an Incubator?

A CO2 Monitor is a vital component of a scientific incubator designed to cultivate cell cultures by precisely adjusting environmental conditions for optimal cell growth. This incubator is alternatively known as the CO2 incubator or CO2 biological incubator.

A CO2 meter gauges the carbon dioxide levels inside biological incubators. It specifically measures the concentration of CO2 gas within the incubator typically set to maintain a 5% CO2 level. Used in biological research laboratories where the growth of cell cultures and other microorganisms is a fundamental requirement.

Biological cell incubator employing carbon dioxide gas.
Biological cell incubator employing carbon dioxide gas.

Case Study 1:
CO2 Levels and Chicken Eggs

I can across an interesting study in the context of embryo development and chick quality during incubation, which highlights the very important and significant role CO2 levels play in an incubator environment.

In natural incubation, the CO2 concentration in the air surrounding the eggs increases from 0.05% to 0.9%, while the oxygen (O2) concentration decreases from 20.9% to 20.3%. However, in commercial incubators, the ventilation rate has traditionally been kept high, and CO2 levels are maintained at ambient levels. As a result, it becomes essential to explore effective CO2 regulation strategies that can enhance embryonic development and overall chick quality.

The aim of this study was to assess the impact of elevated CO2 concentrations (1%) during both the early and late stages of incubation on embryonic development, hatching characteristics, and chick quality. Additionally, the study sought to investigate potential mechanisms behind these effects by analyzing changes in hormone levels and nutrient metabolism.

Carbon Dioxide CO2 levels in a Incubator for Chicken Eggs.
Carbon Dioxide CO2 levels in a Incubator for Chicken Eggs.
FUN FACT Did you know? CO2 regulation during the early or late period of incubation is beneficial for embryonic development, hatching characteristics, and chick quality. In addition, this effect is likely mediated by changes in hormones and nutrients.

It was found that the application of elevated CO2 treatment resulted in significant reductions in chick hatching time by 4 hours and the hatch window by 3 hours, while not affecting hatchability, chick weight at 1 day of age, brooding period, or chick quality score.

The elevated CO2 treatment also led to a significant increase in corticosterone concentration in the embryonic plasma. Additionally, it promoted the secretion of triiodothyronine and tetraiodothyronine (P < 0.05) and increased the glycogen content in the embryonic liver on E21 (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION (CASE STUDY CO2 LEVELS IN INCUBATORS) These findings suggest that elevated CO2 (1%) during both the early and late periods of incubation accelerated the development of embryonic organs, resulting in shorter hatching time and hatch window, without compromising hatchability or hatchling quality. 
Handheld CO2 Meter
Handheld CO2 Meter detecting Carbon Dioxide Gas.

Case Study 2:
CO2 Level Accuracy in an IVF Incubator

A very interesting study was published in 2013 that recently caught my attention. The study compares two famous and well-recognized CO2 monitors that are detecting CO2 levels within an incubator for IVF.

Over a period of 13 consecutive days, CO2 and O2 levels were monitored in two incubators (Forma 3110). Three different devices were used for the measurements: one utilizing saturated KOH or chromous chloride (Fyrite), another employing an electronic CO2/O2 monitor with infrared and galvanic sensors for simultaneous gas measurement (Viasensor), and the third being independent instruments. Prior to the measurements, all instruments were calibrated to room air to ensure accuracy. But please note, this is only a SINGLE POINT calibration.

Thermo Forma 3110 Incubator.
CO2 for Incubators
Fyrite CO2 O2 Instrument Analysis
Fyrite CO2 O2 Instrument Analysis.
Viasensor Co2 O2
Viasensor O2 and CO2 Analyzer.
CO2 10 incubator front shot
Carbon Dioxide Meter for Incubators

The average CO2 readings obtained from incubator #1 using the Viasensor showed significant differences when compared to readings from Fyrite and the incubator readout, where the latter two were similar (Fyrite: 5.9±0.04, Viasensor: 5.6±0.04, Incubator: 6.0±0, p < 0.05). Moreover, the average O2 readings exhibited significant differences among all devices (Fyrite: 5.8±0.06, Viasensor: 5.3±0.03, Incubator: 5.0±0, p < 0.05).

Similar significant differences were observed on incubator #2, suggesting that these variations were not specific to a particular incubator. It is worth noting that daily pH measurements were conducted to verify the stability, and the results were found to be within the acceptable range determined by the lab (pH: 7.30±0.003).

The Dr. Koz Opinion (on this Case Study) We received many calls from customers and emails regarding CO2 sensor accuracy. Many customers call to explain differences and discrepancies in experiments and comparison to various instruments, as presented in this case study. When I reply, I always ask the customer how calibration was undertaken. In this study, only a single-point calibration was performed. For example, the authors mention that ONLY a calibration to fresh air was performed which is 410ppm (0.04 %), to be blunt, that is simply inadequate. A calibration of the target CO2 incubator concentration (1%) should have been performed for maximum accuracy. Therefore, the point is this. When purchasing a CO2 meter for incubators, make sure (1) your meter can indeed be calibrated to any concentration point (2) you know exactly what the supplier or manufacturer has calibrated your instrument to, and (3) ensure the USA NIST calibration certificate is supplied with your CO2 meter.

What are the best CO2 Incubator Conditions?

CO2 incubators create optimal conditions for cell growth, maintaining crucial factors at constant levels, such as a temperature of 37°C ± 0.5°C, 5% carbon dioxide, and 95% humidity.

An effective CO2 incubator must ensure a uniform and constant temperature through an automated system and circulate air to distribute temperature and carbon dioxide evenly. To maintain the appropriate pH in the culture medium, a suitable buffering system is necessary. Many culture media contain sodium bicarbonate, which, in combination with carbon dioxide gas, creates an adequate buffering system for cell culture. Consequently, carbon dioxide incubators need to maintain a specific level of carbon dioxide, typically 5% for the growth of mammalian cells.

Why is Carbon Dioxide CO2 used in Incubators?

Carbon dioxide gas is used in biological cell incubators for several important reasons:

1. pH regulation: Carbon dioxide is essential for maintaining the appropriate pH level in the culture medium. When CO2 dissolves in water, it forms carbonic acid, which helps to buffer the pH of the cell culture environment. This pH regulation is crucial for the survival and proper functioning of cells in vitro.

2. Cell metabolism: Many cells require a specific level of CO2 for their metabolism. Carbon dioxide is involved in various cellular processes, including cell signaling and regulating ion transport across cell membranes. By providing the necessary CO2 concentration, incubators create an environment conducive to cell growth and proliferation.

3. Bicarbonate buffering: CO2 gas is used in conjunction with sodium bicarbonate present in the culture medium. This combination creates a bicarbonate buffer system that helps maintain the pH stability of the culture medium over time, even with changes in atmospheric conditions.

Gas Meter Design

CO2 Incubator Challenges?

Carbon dioxide gas in biological cell incubators presents some challenges:

1. Gas regulation: Maintaining precise and stable levels of CO2 within the incubator can be challenging. Fluctuations in CO2 levels may impact cell growth and experimental reproducibility. Incubators need to be equipped with sophisticated gas control systems to achieve accurate and consistent CO2 concentrations.

2. Contamination risk: Carbon dioxide gas cylinders and the delivery system may pose a risk of contamination. It is crucial to ensure that the gas sources are clean and free from any impurities that could affect cell cultures negatively.

3. Gas depletion: Continuous incubator operation may deplete the CO2 gas over time, leading to changes in the gas concentration inside the incubator. Regular monitoring and timely replacement of gas cylinders are necessary to avoid disruptions in cell culture conditions.

4. Cost and maintenance: Carbon dioxide gas cylinders and the associated gas control systems can be expensive to maintain. Ensuring proper calibration and regular maintenance are essential to guarantee accurate and reliable gas concentrations for cell cultures.

Despite these challenges, CO2 incubators remain a key tool in biological research laboratories, enabling researchers to maintain and manipulate the necessary cell culture conditions for various experimental studies.

FUN FACT! Did you know CO2 incubators need regular calibration? They often have built-in CO2 control systems. These systems are as good as the CO2 sensor accuracy and calibration. Make sure these are tested and calibrated regularly.

How often must I Calibrate my Handheld CO2 Monitor?

We recommend calibrating between 6 to 12 months.  The more often you calibrate, the more accurate your CO2 meter will be reading. We offer a CO2 gas calibration service or you can do it yourself with a calibration kit that consists of the following items:

Calibration Kit
Calibration Gas (CO2)
Calibration Gas Regulator (C10)

Best CO2 Detectors

How long will the CO2 Monitor Last?

The positive aspect is that CO2 monitors have a remarkable lifespan in comparison to other gas sensors, such as electrochemical cells. CO2 monitors utilize NDIR (Non-Dispersive Infrared) sensors, which are solid-state electronic components known for their longevity, lasting typically between 5 to 15 years. Among these components, the infrared source is relatively more susceptible to gradual degradation over time. Therefore, it is advisable to conduct annual calibration to ensure accurate and reliable performance.


  • A CO2 meter serves as a valuable instrument utilized for gauging the CO2 concentration within a biological incubator.
  • This device is alternatively referred to as a carbon dioxide monitor, carbon dioxide analyzer, carbon dioxide detector, or CO2 analyzer.
  • By ensuring the maintenance of appropriate CO2 levels, an optimal environment is provided for cell growth.
  • These CO2 meters find application in various biological laboratories, ranging from government and private facilities to academic institutions.
  • Make sure your CO2 meter for incubator operation is calibrated to ensure maximum accuracy.


This article was written by me, Dr. Koz (no ghostwriters and no AI content here!). I am the President of Forensics Detectors (CA, USA). I am also a subject matter expert on gas sensor technology, gas detectors, gas meters, and gas analyzers. I have been designing, building, manufacturing, and testing toxic gas detection systems for over 20 years.... and still love it.

Email:  drkoz@carbondioxidedetector.com

dr Koz
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