The Detection of Ammonia Using Gas Sensros Essay

The Detection of Ammonia Using Gas Sensros Essay

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Detection of ammonia can be done using gas sensors. Examples of different application areas of ammonia gas sensing are; environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics, chemical laboratories and detection of ammonia in portable water and wastewater (Timmer et al., 2005). High concentrations of ammonia are easy to detect while for very low concentrations we require different gas sensors operating at different sensing principles. Ammonia gas sensors operate at different temperatures each having a specific detection limit range and response time to measure the ppm and sub-ppm concentrations rapidly. Commercial ammonia sensors make use of different techniques for ammonia detection and can be classified as metal oxide sensors, conducting polymer detectors, catalytic ammonia sensors and optical sensors. The ammonia gas sensors should be considered on basis of cost, maintenance, installation and most importantly specific sensors for the suitable application.
Metal oxide ammonia gas sensors are most widely used and are usually made up of tin i.e. SnO2 sensors (Zakrzewska, 2001). These sensors are inexpensive and are based on the principle of conductance change which arises due to the chemical adsorption of molecules of the ammonia gas on a sensing layer. Selectivity and sensitivity of these sensors towards the ammonia gas can be enhanced by using additives which will drive the adsorption of the gas molecules. Using additives like Au and MoO3 ammonia sensors can achieve the detection limit of 1 ppm. Metal oxides sensors have a detection limit in the range of 1 to 1000 ppm and operates at above 400 0C. In applications like environmental monitoring and detection of combustion gases these sensors are quite helpful.
Sensors made up of polyme...


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...ysis is required. The use of non selective detectors with gas samplers is also a good selective technique to measure ammonia accurately. Table 1 (Timmer et al., 2005) summarizes all the parameters of different types of sensors used for the detection of ammonia. In the methodology section plan of experiments using sensors to detect ammonia in water will be presented. However there are two methods described by the EPA to detect ammonia in water bodies. The first method (Method 350.1) is the distillation method in which the sample is first buffered and then is distilled into boric acid. The ammonia concentration is directly proportional to the indophenol blue which is formed (SEMI, 1993). In the second EPA method (Method 350.2) the sample is distilled into boric acid and the ammonia concentration is determined either titrimetrically or colorimetrically (SEMI, 1993) .

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