Sampling small volumes of ambient ammonia using a miniaturized gas sampler

B.H. Timmer, Wouter Olthuis, Albert van den Berg

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    The development of a gas sampler for a miniaturized ambient ammonia detector is described. A micromachined channel system is realized in glass and silicon using powder blasting and anodic bonding. The analyte gas is directly mixed with purified water, dissolving the ammonia that will dissociate into ammonium ions. Carrier gas bubbles are subsequently removed from the liquid stream through a venting hole sealed with a microporous water repellent PTFE membrane. A flow restrictor is placed at the outlet of the sampler to create a small overpressure underneath the membrane, enabling the gas to leave through the membrane. Experiments with a gas flow of 1 ml min–1, containing ammonia concentrations ranging from 9.4 ppm to 0.6 ppm in a nitrogen carrier flow have been carried out, at a water flow of 20 µl min–1. The ammonium concentration in the sample solution is measured with an electrolyte conductivity detector. The measured values correspond with the concentration calculated from the initial ammonia concentration in the analyte gas, the fifty times concentration enhancement due to the gas–liquid volume difference and the theoretical dissociation equilibrium as a function of the resulting pH.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)252-255
    Number of pages4
    JournalLab on a chip
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • IR-47873
    • METIS-218845

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