An ammonia gas (NH3) generator was developed to maintain a set concentration of ammonia gas in a controlled environment chamber to study poultry physiological responses to sustained elevated levels of ammonia gas. The goal was to maintain 50 parts per million (ppm) of ammonia gas in a 3.7 m × 4.3 m × 2.4 m (12 ft × 14 ft × 8 ft) controlled environment chamber. The chamber had a 1.5 m3/s (3000 cfm) recirculation system that regulated indoor temperature and humidity levels and a 0.06 m3/s (130 cfm) exhaust fan that exchanged indoor air for fresh outdoor air. The ammonia generator was fabricated by coupling ultrasonic humidifiers with an Ar-duino-based microcontroller and a metallic oxide MQ-137 ammonia gas sensor. Preliminary evaluation under steady conditions showed the average MQ-137 gas sensor accuracy was within 1.4% of the 65.4 ppm concentration measured using a highly accurate infrared gas analyzer. Further evaluation was performed for a setpoint concentration of 50 ppm where ammonia generator res-ervoirs were filled with 2% or 10% ammonia liquid. For the system tested, it was found that two generators operating at the same time filled with 3.8 L (1.0 gallon) of 2% ammonia cleaning liquid each (7.6 L or 2.0 gallons total) could maintain a gas level of 49.45 ± 0.79 ppm in the chamber air for a duration of 30 h before refilling was required. One generator filled with 3.8 L of 10% ammonia cleaning liquid could maintain 51.24 ± 1.53 ppm for 195 h. Two ammonia generators were deployed for a six-week animal health experiment in two separate controlled environment chambers. The two ammonia generators maintained an average ammonia concentration of 46.42 ± 3.81 ppm and 45.63 ± 4.95 ppm for the duration of the experiment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Information Systems
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering