Ammonia Monitoring and Why it is Vital for Industries

Ammonia is a strong and colorless gas found in the environment, in the air, soil, water, humans and animal life. Ammonia is an important source of nitrogen which is essential for plants as well as animals. However, exposure to ammonia can cause irritation and serious effects on the skin mouth, throat, lungs and eyes. In severe cases, exposure to ammonia may cause death. Under certain conditions, the mixture of ammonia and air can be flammable which requires ammonia monitoring in industrial settings. It is also very important for workers and employers as well as medical practitioners and health workers to understand the risks of ammonia in the workplace for purposes of Occupational Health and Safety.

The various uses of ammonia

  • As a soil fertilizer
  • As solvent in the manufacture of textiles, leather, pulp and paper processing
  • As stabilizer for rubber
  • For organic and inorganic synthesis of nitric acid, urea, plastics, fibers, synthetic resins, pharmaceuticals, explosives household cleaners, flame retardants and dyestuffs
  • In mining and metallurgy, ore extraction and purification, treatment of scrap metal, annealing,  atomic hydrogen welding and electronics
  • In petroleum refining as a neutralizing agent, in the manufacture and recovery of cracking catalysts and in the de-waxing of lubricating oils
  • As commercial refrigerant in food processing, the production of ice, cold storage and de-icing operations
  • When used with chlorine, it can purify municipal and industrial water supply

Ammonia monitoring in the wastewater system

The need for wastewater treatment technology is crucial due to the increasing population, urbanization and industrialization as well as the pressure to reduce energy consumption. Ammonia is a cause for concern due to problems in the disinfection process since there are instances when it can contaminate water which is fatal to aquatic life. Processes need to be put in place to effectively determine the levels of ammonia in the wastewater through ammonia analyzer. Effective ammonia monitoring ensures that water treatment plants are able to operate efficiently at the same time the immediate environment is protected. Wastewater discharges in rivers that are used for recreational purposes as well as supporting various ecosystems can be compromised. Due to this danger, continuous ammonia monitoring of ammonia levels is vital so that the environment will remain safe.


Ammonia monitoring in an aquarium

The nitrogen cycle is the single most important process in aquariums to become established. Aldo known as the nitrification cycle, it is the process where toxic nitrogen wastes are broken down in the aquarium into lesser harmful components. Ammonia has to be present in the aquarium and the sources include decomposing organic waste from fish waste, decaying plants and uneaten fish food. While in effect, ammonia is the source of the nitrogen cycle, it can be extremely toxic for the fishes. Exposure to ammonia will cause the fishes to act erratically. Since aquariums are closed systems, they require ammonia monitoring including that of nitrate and nitrite levels. Routinely test your aquarium for ammonia and improve the filtration so that you can continue on enjoying your aquarium and its fishes. 

Because ammonia is colourless it's hard to detect with the naked eye, and also it might be good for some purposes but too much can be harmful. This should be monitored with the right equipment. Ammonia monitoring should be mandatory.
Posted by: Serge B. | October 30, 2013, 11:08 am
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