Development of Simple Device based on Gas Diffusion with Natural Reagent Immobilized Paper and Digital Image Colorimetry for Ammonia Determination

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Yaowalak Khanhuathon
Napaporn Wannaprom


This research has developed a simple device based on gas diffusion with natural reagent immobilized on paper for ammonia determination and colorimetric detection via smart phone. The proposed method based on the reaction between ammonium chloride and sodium hydroxide to provide ammonia gas in reaction chamber, after that this gas was diffused through immobilized paper with natural reagent then the colorimetric change on the paper was measured with a smart phone. Three kinds of natural reagent (Red cabbage, orchid flower and butterfly pea flower) were investigated for suitability of immobilized on paper.  The result found that the highest sensitivity was obtained with red cabbage extracts immobilized paper. The various parameters were studied for optimum condition of ammonia determination. The suitable parameter values were 4 % w/v of red cabbage extracts concentration. Time of extraction, immobilization on paper and reaction were 15, 5 and 3 minutes, respectively. Under optimum condition, the linearity range was 1.00–
30.00 mM ammonium chloride (y = 1.31 ±0.03x + 15.34 ±0.59, R2 = 0.9955) with limit of detection and limit of quantitation were 0.24 and 0.81 mM, respectively. The precision of proposed method were studied; the results found that %RSD were less than 5 % and %recovery were found in the range of 96.8–107.0 %. The developed device was successfully applied for ammonia determination in chemical fertilizer samples. The proposed method was compared with standard method. It was found that both methods agree well with not significant different at 95 % interval levels. The developed gas detection device has many advantages such as cost-effective, simple, using natural reagent and portable device.


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