NH3 Gas and its Sensor

Intro to Ammonia

Ammonia gas is a compound that is composed of nitrogen and hydrogen using the formula chemically NH3. It is a non-colorless gas that can be recognized by smell since it has a strong smell. Ammonia gas is typically utilized in the manufacturing of refrigerants and fertilizers, but you'll be able to detect it before it is harmful to your health. The risk that ammonia gas poses is largely in proportion to the amount present and the length of time you've been exposed to it for.

Gas Characteristics

  • Colorless
  • State of Gas
  • Compressed
  • Toxic
  • Flammable
  • Corrosive
  • Lighter than air
  • Water soluble
  • Explosive (at large concentrations and in tight areas)
  • Pungent, suffocating odor
  • Can decompose at high temperatures forming very flammable hydrogen gas
  • OTHER NAMES: Anhydrous ammonia, ammonia, azane, hydrogen nitride
icon-ghs-toxic GHS corrosive WHMIS

Industrial NH3 hazards

  • farms: The compost piles that are located on mushroom farms release ammonia gas. Manure pits, as well as any enclosed or indoor spaces in which animals from farms are kept could be a source of ammonia gas.
  • Refrigeration Systems: Icerinks as well as manufacturing facilities for ice make use of liquid ammonia. When it is leaking, it turns into an gas.
  • Fertilizers and Cleaners Liquid ammonia is typically dilute and is often combined together with various other chemical.
  • Certain manufacturing processes also utilize ammonia
  • It is possible to get exposed to ammonia when making use of cleaning products that contain ammonia
  • Other workplace exposures are reflective mirrors' silvering the making of glue, tanning leather, and in the vicinity of the nitriding furnaces.
  • Ammonia is an by-product of distillation of coal and through steam's action on calcium cyanamide and through the decomposition process of nitrogenous substances
  • Ammonia naturally occurs naturally in soybean (8,600 ppm) as well as seeds of evening-primrose (2,300-2,455 ppm) as well as lambsquarter along with tobacco leaf (Duke 1992).

Ammonia leaks are increasing due to the increasing utilization of natural refrigerants versus fluorinated gas substitutes.

(Process Equipment & Control News)

High Risk Scenarios

  • Ammonia levels are typically higher in warm than in colder buildings.
  • In a space that is enclosed ammonia is able to explode in the event that the ignition source is present
  • Other than an accidental release of ammonia into the air, the possibility for exposure to extremely high levels of ammonia are highest restricted space entry
  • Technically speaking, when workers break the surface of an opening, they is actually entering the confined space. in the event that ammonia is present, workers must assume that confined spaces can be an enviroment that is hazardous.
  • In the event of a leak , or CSE procedure it is an error to think that ammonia's distinctive odor will be a sufficient warning indication
  • Gas detectors measure concentrations of ammonia in the air and quickly notify workers of any changes in the quality of air.

NH3 Sensor Info

Type: Electrochemical
Range: 0-100 ppm (0.1 ppm resolution)
High range: 0-500 ppm (1 ppm resolution)


Low Alarm: 25 ppm
High Alarm: 50 ppm
STEL 15 min -- Short-Term Limit of Exposure: 35 ppm
TWA - 8 hour time-weighted mean: 25 ppm


Are there any questions regarding the finding of NH3?


Special Applications and Considerations

  • Slow-moving water: Static or slow-moving water can contain high levels of ammonia because lack of turbulence, more volatilization as well as a higher accumulation of organic waste and decomposition materials, such as ammonia (WHO 1986).
  • Fish with high density A decrease in stream flow could cause fish to be pushed into refuges or pools which can concentrate waste excretion, as well as raising ammonia concentrations.
  • The presence of organic wastes Organic wastes comprise the leftovers of living organisms that once existed or excrement. Waste and excrement are rich in ammonia, and the presence of these materials in waterbodies could indicate ammonia as a possible cause. However, plant material typically is lower in nitrogen, and the decomposers that accompany it can take ammonia, reducing its concentration in aqueous solutions. The identification of the kind of organic waste in the waterbody can help in identifying the possible causes. In excess of organic wastes in water, it could result in a gray cast, with visible sludge deposits within the depositional zones.
  • Foul odor: Ammonia , as gas has a distinctively strong smell (think of floor and window cleaners). Ammonia concentrations in water are not often high enough to cause this smell however water that exhibits an unpleasant, septic or organic-waste smell could have relatively high levels of ammonia.
  • Suspended solids: Suspended particles from runoff or wastewater effluents could contain high levels of ammonia, or serve as catalysts for the growth of bacterial that promote the an accumulation of ammonia. The type of suspended material in the system is crucial in determining potential sources.
  • Alkaline, anoxic and warm waters: The characteristics of water that encourage ammonia production (e.g. anoxia, for example)) or cause toxicity to increase (e.g. high temperature and pH) are indications that ammonia could be the cause.
  • Ammonia can be tasted in water with levels of around 35 ppm.

Health Risks and Handling of NH3

CONCENTRATIONSYMPTOMS/EFFECTS0 - 0.5Typical background concentrations0.6 - 23Can usually be detected by smell24 - 29Nose and throat irritation can occasionally be detected (2-6 hours of exposure)30 - 49Slightly irritating to some people after 10 minutes of exposure50 - 71Moderately irritating to the majority of people after 10 minutes of exposure72 - 139Irritation of the nose and throat can occur after only 5 minutes of exposure140 - 499Will be unbearably irritating to most people after 30 minutes500 - 1499Nose and throat will immediately experience severe irritation, lacrimation occurs (crying)1500 - 2499Brief exposure can lead to a pulmonary edema (accumulation of fluid in the lungs, potentially fatal)2500 - 4500Death likely after 30+ minutes of exposure5000 +Will often cause rapid respiratory arrest, death very likely
  • Inhalation: Take steps to ensure your personal safety prior to trying to save someone else (e.g. wearing suitable protective equipment). Transfer the victim towards fresh air. If breathing becomes difficult, trained staff will administer oxygen for emergencies. Don't allow the victim to wander around unnecessarily. Pulmonary edema symptoms can be delayed. Call immediately an Poison Centre or a doctor. The treatment is urgently needed. Transfer to the hospital.
  • Gas-related skin contact Contact with gas: flush the area with lukewarm gentle flow of water for 5 minutes. If the pain or irritation continues seek out a doctor.
  • Eye Contact with Gas: clean the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm slowly flowing water for 5 minutes while keeping your eyelid(s) in place. If the irritation or pain continues seek out a doctor.

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