OP06-5 | Lab assessment of the suitability of low-cost ammonia sensors for emission monitoring systems in livestock housing

Activiteit: Gesprek of presentatieLezing en mondelinge bijdrage


Ammonia (NH3) is one of the most important gaseous pollutants originating from livestock housing, as it lowers the air quality, it contributes to the formation of secondary particulate matter and causes eutrophication upon deposition. Ammonia emission factors represent a value quantifying the average amount of ammonia released to the atmosphere per animal within a specific type of livestock housing during one year. These emission factors are used to develop (inter)national inventories regarding air quality. Based on these inventories, (legislative) decisions concerning air quality management and -control strategies can be made. However, as these factors are averages based on limited data of discrete measuring days distributed over production cycles and seasons, the assumption being representative for each individual farm is questionable. Moreover, the temporal variability in emissions is not captured by a yearly average.
To capture this temporal and individual variability, emissions should be measured continuously in all livestock houses. Different low-cost sensors that continuously measure NH3 concentration are available on the market. However, most of these sensors are designed as warning systems for industry to alert when NH3 levels cross a certain safety threshold. It is therefore important to test the capabilities and limitations of these NH3 sensors regarding emission monitoring in livestock housing.
In this study, a first step assessment regarding the capabilities and limitations of low-cost sensors was performed by conducting different laboratory tests. A range of NH3-concentrations (0-33 ppm) in different gas mixtures (humidified air with or without mixtures of CO2 and/or N2O and CH4) was offered to eight different sensors, each in duplicate (sensor A and sensor B). Based on these tests, the performance specifications including response time and trueness of the sensor, the repeatability of the sensors based on simultaneous measurements of sensor A and sensor B and the interference with other gases could be quantified.
Acknowledgements: Flanders Government (Environmental Department) for their financial support. The technical team including Lorenzo Plant, Willem Grauls and Stan Roelens for the practical implementation of the experiment.
Gehouden opAgricultural University of Athens - AgEng 2024, Griekenland
Mate van erkenningInternationaal