Ammonia (NH3)


Ammonia (NH3) is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of one nitrogen atom covalently single bonded to three hydrogen atoms. Normally colorless, ammonia is the atmosphere’s most abundant alkaline gas. It is produced naturally through nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria and marine algae, as well as through the decomposition of plants, animals, and animal waste.

Nitrogen exchange between organisms, soils, and the atmosphere has been in balance for thousands of years. However, industrial activities have caused a significant increase in ammonia—a vital part of the nitrogen cycle. This increase comes particularly from ammonia in fertilizers and as a byproduct of manure management. Increasing ammonia levels can have devastating environmental effects, for example, in the atmosphere, where ammonia aids in the formation of particulate matter. On Earth’s surface, ammonia can enter water sources as runoff, degrading water quality and harming ecosystems (e.g. through nutrient enrichment). Therefore, precisely measuring ammonia can help us understand and mitigate anthropogenic effects on the nitrogen cycle.

Picarro has designed and produced two gas concentration analyzers that precisely measure ammonia for laboratory and field studies.


Product Measurements Applications

G2103 Gas Concentration Analyzer

The Picarro G2103 gas concentration analyzer provides precise, real-time measurement of ammonia (NH3) and water (H2O) vapor. It incorporates coated components in the critical gas pathway. This reduces the propensity of NH3 molecules to adhere to pathway surfaces, which improves measurement response time.

G2508 Gas Concentration Analyzer

The Picarro G2508 gas concentration analyzer provides simultaneous, precise measurement of nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), ammonia (NH3), and water (H2O) vapor at parts-per-billion (ppb) sensitivity with negligible drift for agriculture soil science, ecology, and emissions quantification.