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Proceedings Paper

Advanced ammonia (NH3) monitoring system for industrial applications
Author(s): Oded Spector; Esther Jacobson
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Paper Abstract

The present paper describes an Electro-Optical Monitoring System developed for the real time in-situ monitoring of Ammonia (NH3) emissions, at very low concentrations in air, well below the hazardous levels. Ammonia is the starting chemical for almost all industrially produced nitrogen compounds and is therefore one of the most important inorganic raw materials. Due to its unique chemical and physical characteristics, the Ammonia (NH3) anhydrous gas is used in various industrial applications such as: Air Conditioning, Refrigeration (including space shuttles), Agriculture and Chemical Processing. NH3 gas, being a highly irritant toxic and flammable gas with a pungent odor detectable by human perception at 53 ppm, has a TLV-TWA of 25 ppm (TLV-STEL of 35 ppm) and a lower explosive limit (LEL) of 15% in air. Being extremely corrosive and irritating to the skin, eyes, nose and respiratory tract, (irritation begins at 130 - 200 ppm), exposures to high concentrations (above 2500 ppm) are life threatening, thus early detection of Ammonia at concentrations up to 50 ppm is essential to prevent its toxic influence. Existing detection methods for NH3 rely mainly on chemical sensors and analytical methods that require the gas to be sampled and introduced into the detection system via a probe, compared to various standards (for determining the concentration) and the result is not always reflecting the actual gas concentration. The emerging optical open path remote sensing technology that analyzes the specific 'finger print' absorption characteristics of NH3 in various narrow spectral bands, specifically in the UV solar blind band, is discussed including the rationale of the detection algorithm and system design. The system offers warning and alarm signals set at the above low concentration detection sensitivity, (10 - 50 ppm(DOT)m) thus providing reliable Ammonia detection over an air path from 3 (including air-duct applications) to 400 ft (1 - 120 m). Typical installations of Ammonia Monitoring Systems, field and laboratory test data are discussed, including spectral cross sensitivity analysis with interfering chemicals and changing environmental conditions (heat, humidity).

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 December 1999
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3853, Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Technologies II, (21 December 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.372858
Show Author Affiliations
Oded Spector, Spectronix Ltd. (Israel)
Esther Jacobson, Spectrex Ltd. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3853:
Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Technologies II
Tuan Vo-Dinh; Robert L. Spellicy, Editor(s)

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