Ammonia gas (NH3) is made up of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms. It is an important compound in many biological processes and is a key part of the nitrogen cycle. It occurs naturally at trace concentrations in the atmosphere mainly from the decomposition of organic matter. The majority of ammonia production however comes from the agricultural industry where ammonia is used a fertilizer.
Ammonia in Agriculture
The use of ammonia as fertilizer helps to increase crop yields and therefore is commonly applied to soil either as a salt or solution. This type of ammonia use will not have a significant impact on atmospheric concentrations. Ammonia emissions are more prevalent in animal agriculture, in particular, livestock and poultry operations where it is a common by-product of animal waste. Ammonia is a toxic gas which can cause burning in the respiratory tract when inhaled. It also has a distinct odor which can be used as an early warning sign of its presence. Aeroqual can provide both fixed and portable monitors to measure atmospheric ammonia concentrations.
Industrial Ammonia Use
Ammonia is used in the manufacture of several products including plastics, textiles and pesticides as well as in the fermentation industry and as an antimicrobial agent. It is also found in many household and industrial strength cleaning products. Ammonia solution does not usually cause health problems and therefore is not as dangerous as ammonia gas. Inhalation of gas or vapors can be harmful to those working in industries where ammonia is being used. Aeroqual have several instruments available to measure ammonia gas used in industrial applications.