Ammonia (NH3) sensors

Ammonia is a colorless, pungent gas that is widely used in many industrial applications and found in agricultural production. It is a critical component in the manufacture of fertilizers, plastics, and explosives, among other things. However, ammonia can be hazardous to human and animal health and the environment when it is released into the atmosphere. As such, the need for accurate and reliable ammonia measurement sensors has become increasingly important in recent years.

Types of Ammonia Measurement Sensors

There are several types of ammonia measurement sensors available in the market, and each one operates on a different principle. Some of the most common ammonia measurement sensors include:

  1. Electrochemical sensors
  2. Metal-oxide sensors
  3. Photoionization detectors
  4. Infrared sensors
  5. Catalytic sensors

Electrochemical Ammonia Sensors

Electrochemical sensors are among the most widely used ammonia measurement sensors. These sensors operate by measuring the current produced when ammonia reacts with a sensing electrode. The magnitude of the current is proportional to the concentration of ammonia in the air. The sensor’s sensitivity can be adjusted by changing the composition of the sensing electrode, and the measurement range can be customized to meet specific application requirements.

Metal-Oxide Sensors

Metal-oxide sensors operate by detecting changes in the electrical conductivity of a metal oxide film when it comes into contact with ammonia. The metal oxide film is typically made of tin oxide, and the sensor’s sensitivity can be adjusted by varying the thickness of the film or the operating temperature. Metal-oxide sensors are highly sensitive and can detect ammonia at concentrations as low as a few parts per billion.

Photoionization Detectors

Photoionization detectors (PID) operate by measuring the ionization of gas molecules when exposed to ultraviolet light. When ammonia molecules are ionized, they produce a measurable electrical signal that can be used to determine the concentration of ammonia in the air. PIDs are highly sensitive and can detect ammonia at concentrations as low as a few parts per million.

Infrared Sensors

Infrared sensors operate by measuring the absorption of infrared radiation by ammonia molecules. The sensor emits infrared radiation at a specific wavelength, and the amount of radiation absorbed by the ammonia molecules is proportional to the concentration of ammonia in the air. Infrared sensors are highly accurate and can detect ammonia at concentrations as low as a few parts per million.

Catalytic Sensors

Catalytic sensors operate by measuring the catalytic oxidation of ammonia on a heated catalyst. When ammonia comes into contact with the catalyst, it undergoes a chemical reaction that produces heat and a measurable electrical signal. The sensor’s sensitivity can be adjusted by varying the composition of the catalyst or the operating temperature. Catalytic sensors are highly sensitive and can detect ammonia at concentrations as low as a few parts per million.

Applications of Ammonia Measurement Sensors

Ammonia measurement sensors are used in a wide range of applications, including:

  1. Industrial process monitoring
  2. Environmental monitoring
  3. Agriculture and livestock management
  4. Food safety
  5. Medical diagnostics

Industrial Process Monitoring

Ammonia is used in many industrial processes, such as the manufacture of fertilizers, plastics, and explosives. In these processes, ammonia is often used as a reactant or a refrigerant. Ammonia measurement sensors are used to monitor the concentration of ammonia in the air to ensure the safety of workers and the proper functioning of the process.

Environmental Monitoring

Ammonia is a pollutant that can be released into the environment by various sources, such as agricultural operations, wastewater treatment plants, and industrial processes. Ammonia measurement sensors are used to monitor the concentration of ammonia in the air to ensure compliance with environmental regulations and to protect public health.

According to The Poultry Site “Ammonia emissions from livestock present major challenges to the Northern Ireland agricultural industry.”

Agriculture and Livestock Management

Ammonia is naturally produced by animals through their urine and feces. High concentrations of ammonia in livestock facilities can have negative impacts on animal health and productivity. Ammonia measurement sensors are used in agriculture and livestock management to monitor the concentration of ammonia in the air and to optimize ventilation systems to maintain healthy air quality for the animals.

DOL 53 is an award-winning ammonia sensor specially designed for the harsh environment in livestock houses.

Ammonia (NH3) Sensors

DOL 53 Ammonia Sensor

DOL 51 Ammonia Sensor for Air Cleaning

Food Safety

Ammonia is commonly used in the food industry as a refrigerant and a disinfectant. However, excessive amounts of ammonia can have negative effects on food quality and safety. Ammonia measurement sensors can be used in food processing facilities to monitor the concentration of ammonia in the air and to ensure that it is within safe levels.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Ammonia Sensor

When selecting an ammonia measurement sensor, several factors should be taken into consideration, including:

  1. Sensitivity
  2. Accuracy
  3. Response time
  4. Selectivity
  5. Environmental conditions
  6. Maintenance requirements

Sensitivity

The sensitivity of an ammonia measurement sensor refers to its ability to detect low concentrations of ammonia in the air. In general, the lower the detection limit, the more sensitive the sensor. The sensitivity of the sensor should be selected based on the specific application requirements.

Accuracy

The accuracy of an ammonia measurement sensor refers to its ability to provide measurements that are close to the true concentration of ammonia in the air. The accuracy of the sensor can be affected by various factors, such as the calibration method, environmental conditions, and the presence of interfering gases. The accuracy of the sensor should be sufficient to meet the requirements of the application.

Response Time

The response time of an ammonia measurement sensor refers to the time it takes for the sensor to provide a measurement after it is exposed to ammonia. The response time can be affected by the type of sensor, the measurement range, and the environmental conditions. The response time of the sensor should be sufficient to meet the requirements of the application.

Selectivity

The selectivity of an ammonia measurement sensor refers to its ability to respond only to ammonia and not to other gases in the air. Some sensors are more selective than others, and the level of selectivity required will depend on the specific application requirements.

Environmental Conditions

The environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, and pressure, can affect the performance of ammonia measurement sensors. It is essential to select a sensor that can operate effectively under the specific environmental conditions of the application.

Maintenance Requirements

The maintenance requirements of the sensor should also be taken into consideration. Some sensors require regular calibration and maintenance to ensure accuracy and reliability, while others are designed to be maintenance-free.

Conclusion

Ammonia measurement sensors play a crucial role in many industrial, agricultural, and environmental applications. The selection of the appropriate sensor depends on several factors, such as sensitivity, accuracy, response time, selectivity, environmental conditions, and maintenance requirements. The various types of ammonia measurement sensors available in the market, such as electrochemical sensors, metal-oxide sensors, photoionization detectors, infrared sensors, and catalytic sensors, offer different levels of sensitivity, accuracy, and selectivity. By carefully considering these factors, users can choose the most appropriate ammonia measurement sensor for their specific application requirements.

Downloads

footerLabels - footer_header

dol-sensors A/S
Agro Food Park 15
8200 Aarhus N

T: +45 7217 5888E: [email protected]CVR: 87457117

footerLabels - footer_some