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Dr Stefania Grecea of the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences will develop a new concept for ammonia sensing that can be implemented in wearable devices to measure ammonia concentrations in farming- and sensitive ecosystem environments. For this, she has been awarded a 50,000 euro grant in the Open Competition XS call of the Dutch Research Council NWO (Domain Science).

concept of ammonia sensing
Image: HIMS.

Ammonia (NH3) emissions strongly contribute to the formation of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) which has a negative impact on human health. Livestock on farms produce a lot of manure and thus a lot of ammonia, which is harmful to the environment and reduces biodiversity. The accurate measurement of ammonia concentrations is crucial for determining the effectiveness of control measures as well as establishing the impact of ammonia emissions on atmospheric processes. Current devices suitable for measuring ammonia in agricultural environments are relatively specialized, have high costs, and require a qualified operator for setting up, calibration and maintenance.

In the project ENHancing Ammonia Sensing by NanostruCtures DEsign (ENHANCE), Grecea sets out to develop a novel approach that enables to build a robust, and maintenance-free ammonia sensor that can be implemented in wearable devices. Such devices will enhance the ability for large-scale, detailed measuring of ammonia concentrations in farming- and sensitive ecosystem environments. Grecea has recently received 50,000 euros through the Open Competition XS call of the Dutch Research Council NWO (Domain Science).  This will be used to demonstrate that the synergy between the individual physical properties of specific materials can be used to actually shift from the design of functional materials to their integration in functional devices.

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