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Fiber optic sensors for ammonia detection

FBG sensors for ammonia detectionA team of scientists from Denmark in a collaboration with chemical engineers has presented novel accurate fiber optic sensors. They allow for significantly decreasing the level of air pollution. The operating principle of this fiber sensor is based on modern telecom technology. It helps to detect and measure ammonia in the atmosphere by the sensing system, a laser, and hollow-core optical fibers.

To be more precise, the fiber optic system provides continuous ammonia monitoring for agricultural application. Additionally, the fiber optic sensor can be created at a pretty low cost. The benefits of fiber sensors such as compact size, high reliability, and low cost meet the requirements of a portable system for detecting ammonia.

It should be noted that such a fiber optic technology is still under development. The thing is that the sensitivity of the fiber sensor requires improvements, which scientists try to perform. Even though the main purpose of the new sensing system is ammonia detection, it is possible to use fiber optic sensors for the detection of other gases, for instance, greenhouse gases. 

Moreover, fiber optic technology operates as a part of one agricultural project. In this project, scientists develop new techniques and technology to measure and reduce air pollution from the agricultural sector. Nowadays the agricultural sector is considered to be the main contributor to air pollution (mainly caused by ammonia). Therefore, agricultural pollution is the biggest environmental issue that requires efficient fiber sensors.

The thing is that now ammonia emissions are challenging to measure at the farm level. Compared to novel fiber optic sensors, traditional systems for ammonia detection have a high cost. Fiber optic technology is very promising with great prospects for agriculture. “The ability to continuously and cost-effectively track the development in ammonia emissions from agriculture offers completely new opportunities for the industry to experiment on decreasing the emissions.”

Scientists claim that there are already established figures considering air pollution from agriculture. Nevertheless, the future potential of fiber optic sensors may greatly transform the detection way of ammonia caused by agricultural farms. The new fiber optic technology promotes farmers to control their emissions continuously.

Finally, precise monitoring of ammonia emissions provided by sensing systems makes streamline operations far better. Thus, fiber sensors lead to emissions-based regulations that help reduce the environmental impact of agriculture. The development of these fiber optic sensors will continue until the next year.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, fbg strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at