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Huntsville, AL, United States

Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 79.88K | Year: 2008

Long lasting, inexpensive, and maintenance free systems are not currently available for the continuous sensing of ammonia emission from animal manure. Development of these sensors will provide information for the regulation of ventilation and manure management/amendment to protect animal and worker health and the environment. The overall objective of the project is to study feasibility of such a new sensor technology for sustainable monitoring of ammonia emissions from animal manure inside and outside of animal feeding or manure storage/management facilities. The sensor is based on simple and robust colorimetric method of spectroscopic measurement of reversible change of the color of a patent pending highly sensitive nano-composite reagent film in response to ammonia. The reagent with the same ingredients, but with either low or high doping rate, can be used for measuring levels of ammonia respectively few centimeters or few hundred meters from manure. This brings the unification of the hardware resulting in low cost of ownership. In addition, new patent pending self-calibration method will be used to make sensor reliable and maintenance free. It is anticipated that both versions of the sensor will show no significant degradation of performance during field testing. Potential commercial applications of the proposed technology include monitoring ammonia levels inside/outside of animal feeding facilities to support ventilation and manure management/amendment, distributed wired or wireless networks of sensors of ammonia along fence lines of animal feeding and manure storage/management facilities. The sensors can be added to the existing weather stations. The product will satisfy the need of EPA and USDA for continuous monitoring ammonia emission from manure, identifying facilities producing excessive amount of ammonia, tracing the transfer of ammonia over large areas and its impact on the environment.


Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 349.79K | Year: 2009

Long lasting, inexpensive, and maintenance free systems are not currently available for the continuous sensing of ammonia emission from animal manure. Development of these sensors will provide information for the regulation of ventilation and manure management/amendment to protect animal and worker health and the environment. The purpose of the project is to complete the development of such a sensor, verify economic and safety benefits it potentially brings to the poultry producers, and make preparations for turning it into a viable commercial product. Potential commercial applications of the proposed technology include monitoring ammonia levels inside/outside of animal feeding facilities to support ventilation and manure management/amendment, safety monitoring in chemical industry, industrial refrigerators where ammonia is intensely used as a coolant, distributed wired or wireless networks of sensors of ammonia (with easily achievable higher sensitivity) along fence lines of animal feeding and manure storage/management facilities and industrial sites. The sensors can be added to the existing weather stations. The product will satisfy the need of EPA, USDA, and other agencies for continuous monitoring ammonia emissions at industrial and agricultural sites, identifying facilities producing excessive amount of ammonia, tracing the transfer of ammonia over large areas and its impact on the environment.

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