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Evaluation of a Cost-Effective Ammonia Monitoring System for Continuous Real-Time Concentration Measurements in a Fattening Pig Barn

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Technology and Food Science Unit, Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO), Burg. van Gansberghelaan 115, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
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Animal Sciences Unit, Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO), Scheldeweg 68, 9090 Melle, Belgium
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Department of Animal Sciences and Aquatic Ecology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Coupure links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(17), 3669; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19173669
Received: 17 July 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 21 August 2019 / Published: 23 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
Ammonia (NH3) emission is one of the major environmental issues in livestock farming. Gas measurements are required to study the emission process, to establish emission factors, and to assess the efficiency of emission reduction techniques. However, the current methods for acquiring reference measurements of NH3 are either high in cost or labor intensive. In this study, a cost-effective ammonia monitoring system (AMS) was constructed from a commercially-available gas analyzing module based on tunable diode laser absorption (TDLA) spectroscopy. To cope with the negative measurement biases caused by differing inlet pressures, a set of correction equations was formulated. Field validation of the AMS on NH3 measurement was conducted in a fattening pig barn, where the system was compared to a Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy analyzer. Under two test conditions in a fattening pig barn, the absolute error of the AMS measurements with respect to the average obtained values between the AMS and the FTIR was respectively 0.66 and 0.08 ppmv, corresponding to 5.9% and 0.5% relative error. Potential sources of the measurement uncertainties in both the AMS and FTIR were discussed. The test results demonstrated that the AMS was capable of performing high-quality measurement with sub-ppm accuracy, making it a promising cost-effective tool for establishing NH3 emission factors and studying NH3 emission processes in pig houses. View Full-Text
Keywords: ammonia; tunable diode laser absorption; pig; field test; accuracy; emission ammonia; tunable diode laser absorption; pig; field test; accuracy; emission
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Zhuang, S.; Van Overbeke, P.; Vangeyte, J.; Sonck, B.; Demeyer, P. Evaluation of a Cost-Effective Ammonia Monitoring System for Continuous Real-Time Concentration Measurements in a Fattening Pig Barn. Sensors 2019, 19, 3669.

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