Analytical Solutions for Agricultural Production Applications
Agriculture contributes greenhouse gas emissions and is a significant user of fossil fuel. This gives the global food system a large and vulnerable environmental footprint. To maintain standards, operate efficiently and safely, agriculture production requires many types of gas monitoring and oxygen monitoring solutions.
Gas analysis is essential in assessing the emissions of gases, such as methane and volatile organic compounds, from agricultural waste management systems like anaerobic digesters or manure storage. It allows for the optimization of waste management strategies, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and prevention of odor-related issues. Monitoring gases like carbon dioxide and ethylene can provide insights into plant physiology, growth, and stress responses. Gas analysis helps in understanding the impact of environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity, and pollutant exposure, on crop health and productivity.
By employing gas analysis in agricultural production, farmers, researchers, and environmentalists can make informed decisions, optimize practices, reduce environmental impact, and ensure sustainable and responsible agricultural systems.
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- AMMONIA FERTILIZER PROCESS CONTROL
- Ambient Air Monitoring
- Controlled Atmosphere & Gloveboxes
- ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH & SAFETY
- FERMENTATION & BIOREACTOR CONTROL
- INSTRUMENT AIR & DRYERS
- MOISTURE CONTROL
- Milk and Dairy Control
- OXYGEN MONITORING
- STERILIZATION & VIRUS DEACTIVATION
- Pure Gas, Beverage and Fill Gas
- Process Water, Pure Water & Wastewater
- SURFACE WATER
AMMONIA FERTILIZER PROCESS CONTROL
Chemical fertilizers are critical to the agricultural sector. Ammonia is among the top 10 chemicals produced today. Fertilizers account for 85% of the ammonia produced while other industrial uses include fibers, plastics, coatings and resins. Fertilizer combines atmospheric nitrogen with hydrogen gas to form ammonia. The hydrogen gas used for this process is usually obtained from methane derived from natural gas or other fossil fuels. Ammonia is critical in the manufacturing of fertilizers. It is one of the largest-volume synthetic chemicals produced around world.
Ammonia fertilizer process control is crucial for several reasons:
- Product quality: Ammonia is a critical raw material for the production of fertilizer products. The quality of the ammonia produced has a direct impact on the quality of the final fertilizer product. Process control is essential to ensure that the ammonia produced meets the required specifications for purity, concentration, and other quality parameters.
- Efficiency: Ammonia production is a complex process that involves several stages and consumes a significant amount of energy. Process control helps to optimize the production process, minimize energy consumption, and reduce production costs.
- Safety: Ammonia is a toxic and flammable gas that poses significant safety risks if not handled properly. Process control helps to minimize the risks associated with ammonia production by monitoring critical process parameters and detecting any deviations that could lead to safety hazards.
- Environmental compliance: Ammonia production can have a significant impact on the environment, particularly in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Process control helps to minimize the environmental impact of ammonia production by monitoring emissions and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
Our solutions include:
- Benchtop Mass Spectrometers for Real-Time, ppb-level, Multi-Impurity Analysis EXTREL™ MAX300-LG™
- Industrial Mass Spectrometers for Real-Time, Multi-Stream Process Control EXTREL™ MAX300-RTG™ 2.0
- Injection-Style Heating Value Analyzer for Zero Hydrocarbon Emissions for BTU and Flare Control COSA XENTAUR™ 9800 CXi™ Calorimeter
- Portable and Fixed Aluminum Oxide Dew Point Meters COSA XENTAUR™ XPDM™
- Real-time Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) Impurity Analyzers for H2O, CO, CH4 and CO2 TIGER OPTICS™ CO-rekt™ and Prismatic 3™
- Dual Beam Photometer for Continuous PAT Monitoring GUIDED WAVE™ ClearView db®
Ambient Air Monitoring
Monitoring ambient air quality provides valuable data for decision-making in agricultural operations. By understanding the air quality conditions, farmers can make informed choices regarding crop selection, irrigation management, pesticide application, and overall farm management strategies. This data-driven approach helps optimize resource allocation, reduce environmental impact, and improve overall agricultural efficiency.
The requirement for low detection limits in ambient air monitoring poses challenges in finding a technology that is sensitive enough to accurately measure and monitor air quality. Our EXTREL™ MAX300-AIR™ quadrupole mass spectrometer is a powerful technology that can effectively and efficiently monitor ambient air and fenceline air for toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other impurities. Its fast and seamless capabilities make it an ideal tool for real-time air quality analysis. The quadrupole mass spectrometer operates by ionizing air samples and separating ions based on their mass-to-charge ratio. By selectively detecting specific masses associated with targeted VOCs and impurities, it can provide accurate and sensitive measurements in a matter of seconds.
The EXTREL™ VeraSpec™ Atmospheric Pressure Ionization Mass Spectrometer (APIMS) is specifically designed to ensure consistent and precise detection limits in the low parts-per-trillion range. It is particularly suited for contamination control in Ultra-High Purity (UHP) gases used in semiconductor and other high-tech industrial applications. Utilizing advanced ionization techniques, the VeraSpec™ APIMS enables thorough analysis of ions generated from ambient air samples. This comprehensive analysis yields valuable information regarding the composition and concentrations of various gases, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), aerosols, and other substances present in the air. The instrument’s broad detection capabilities encompass a wide range of chemical compounds and pollutants, encompassing atmospheric pollutants, volatile organic compounds, and trace gases.
Controlled Atmosphere & Gloveboxes
Controlled atmosphere and gloveboxes play crucial roles in modern agriculture, particularly in the preservation, research, and production of fruits, vegetables, and other sensitive agricultural products. These technologies offer numerous benefits that contribute to the industry’s efficiency, sustainability, and overall success.
Also controlled atmosphere storage involves modifying the environment surrounding agricultural produce to slow down the ripening process and extend shelf life. By adjusting the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and humidity, the rate of respiration and ethylene production in fruits and vegetables can be regulated. This preservation technique allows produce to be stored for longer periods, reducing food waste and enabling growers to reach distant markets without compromising product quality.
In agriculture, maintaining product quality is of utmost importance. By controlling the atmosphere, factors like color, texture, taste, and nutritional value can be better preserved. This is especially crucial in the export market, where consumers demand high-quality and visually appealing produce.
Our solutions include:
- Portable and Fixed Trace-to-Percent Oxygen Monitors ALPHA OMEGA INSTRUMENTS™ Series 3520™ and OXY-SEN™
- Aluminum Oxide Dew Point Meters and Transmitters with Hyper-Thin-Film Technology for Portable/Fixed/Loop-Powered Applications COSA XENTAUR ™ XDT™ | XPDM™ | LPDT2™
- Chilled Mirror Dew Point Hygrometer with Measuring Head for Temperature and RH Measurements MBW™ 973 Model™
- CRDS Trace Gas Analyzer for PPB-Level Detection of H2O, CH4, CO, CO2 and C2H2 TIGER OPTICS™ Spark™
- Benchtop Mass Spectrometer for Real-Time PPB-Level to 100% Catalysis, Reaction Monitoring, and Environmental Research EXTREL™ MAX300-CAT™
- Laboratory Mass Spectrometer for Real-Time PPB-Level to 100% Compositional Analysis of Glovebox Gases EXTREL™MAX300-LG™
ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH & SAFETY
There are several Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) applications in the agricultural industry, including:
- Pesticide management: Proper handling, application, and disposal of pesticides is critical to protecting the environment and human health. EHS programs can help ensure that pesticides are used in a safe and responsible manner, reducing the risk of environmental contamination and human exposure.
- Water conservation: Agriculture is a major user of water resources, and water conservation is an important EHS consideration. EHS programs can help farmers and processors implement water-efficient practices, such as drip irrigation and rainwater harvesting, to reduce water usage and protect water quality.
- Air quality management: Agricultural activities can generate air pollutants such as dust, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). EHS programs can help farmers and processors implement practices to reduce these emissions and protect air quality, such as using low-emission equipment and controlling dust and odor from animal waste.
- Worker safety: Agriculture can be a hazardous industry, with risks such as exposure to pesticides, animal attacks, and machinery accidents. EHS programs can help ensure that workers are trained and equipped to work safely, reducing the risk of injuries and illnesses.
- Hazardous waste management: Agricultural activities can generate hazardous wastes such as pesticides, animal waste, and chemical fertilizers. EHS programs can help ensure that these wastes are properly handled, stored, and disposed of, reducing the risk of environmental contamination and protecting human health.
Our solutions include:
- Percent and Trace Oxygen Analyzers, and Oxygen Deficiency Safety Monitors ALPHA OMEGA INSTRUMENTS™ Series 2000™ and ZRO 2000™
- Dual Beam Photometer for Real-Time Triazine Content in Runoff GUIDED WAVE™ ClearView db®
- CRDS Analyzer for the Detection & Continuous Monitoring of Methane and Greenhouse Gases (GHG) TIGER OPTICS™ T-I Max AIR CH4 and CO2
- UV-VIS Process Analyzer for Chlorine and Phosgene Gas GUIDED WAVE™ M508plus™
- Real-Time Air Analyzers for Environmental Health and Safety EXTREL™ MAX300-AIR™
- FTIR Environmental Vapor Monitoring Analyzer ANALECT EVM™
- TOC Water Analyzers for Pure and Process Water Applications for Laboratories LAR™ QuickTOCpurity™
- COD Water Analyzer for Laboratories LAR™ QuickCODlab™
FERMENTATION & BIOREACTOR CONTROL
The fermentation process is used for the production of biomass, enzymes, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Cell types used in these culture processes were traditionally yeasts, fungi and bacteria. Fermentation is a process breaks down large organic molecules via the action of microorganisms into simpler ones like yeast enzymes converting sugars and starches into alcohol, while proteins are converted to peptides/amino acids. It is important to reduce production costs and optimize yields by improving fermentation conditions.
Our solutions include:
- Fast, Real-Time, Multi-Stream Mass Spectrometer Gas Analyzer for Accurate OUR, CER and RQ MGA™ 1200CS™
- Benchtop Mass Spectrometer for Real-Time Multi-Stream, Bioreactor Control EXTREL™ MAX300-LG™
- CRDS Single-Species, Trace Gas Analyzer for PPB-Level of H2O, CH4, CO, CO2 Detection TIGER OPTICS™ Spark
INSTRUMENT AIR & DRYERS
Instrument air and dryers are important in agriculture. Instrument air is used to operate pneumatic tools and equipment, such as seed drills, crop sprayers, and irrigation systems, in agriculture. Dryers are used to remove moisture from agricultural products, such as grain, hay, and fruits and vegetables, to ensure their quality and prevent spoilage. Both instrument air and dryers play a critical role in the efficiency, productivity, and sustainability of agricultural operations.
Moisture levels in instrument air and dryers are also important to monitor, as they can impact equipment performance, product quality, energy consumption, and regulatory compliance. By monitoring moisture levels, farmers and processors can ensure that their equipment is functioning properly and efficiently, products are of high quality and meet industry standards, energy consumption is optimized, and compliance with regulations is achieved.
Our solutions include:
Moisture control monitoring is important in agricultural production because it affects the quality and yield of crops. Here are a few reasons why moisture control is crucial in agricultural production:
- Optimal growing conditions: Moisture is an essential component for plant growth and development. Too much or too little moisture can result in poor plant growth, reduced yields, and even crop failure. By monitoring moisture levels in soil, farmers can ensure that crops have the optimal growing conditions for healthy development.
- Prevention of mold and bacterial growth: Moisture in crops can also lead to the growth of mold and bacteria, which can contaminate the crops and reduce their quality. By monitoring moisture levels, farmers can identify areas of high moisture and take steps to reduce it, such as improving drainage or adjusting irrigation schedules.
- Post-harvest quality: Moisture control is also important in post-harvest handling of crops, such as during drying and storage. Excessive moisture can lead to spoilage and decreased quality, while too little moisture can cause crops to dry out and lose flavor and nutritional value. By monitoring moisture levels during storage and processing, farmers can ensure that crops maintain their quality and nutritional value.
Moisture control monitoring is an important aspect of agricultural production because it helps farmers optimize growing conditions, prevent crop contamination and spoilage, and maintain the quality and nutritional value of crops. Humidity and moisture in the processing line can result in the food being spoiled. When moisture is present, mildew, mold and bacteria can grow. Easily implement monitor moisture control with our field-proven dew point solutions in maturation and ripening, packaging, storage, and transportation of food and stimulants and continuous moisture analysis in instrument air and dryers, and portable spot checking.
Our solutions include:
Milk and Dairy Control
Oxygen monitoring is an essential aspect of food and beverage production, especially for those products that require low oxygen levels to maintain their quality and freshness, such as beer, wine, and modified atmosphere packaged food. The Series 1300 Oxygen Monitor is a highly sensitive instrument that can accurately measure oxygen levels in the range of 0-25% in a variety of applications, including food and beverage production.
Oxygen analyzers are valuable tools for monitoring safe levels of oxygen at various points in the agricultural production process for several reasons:
- Safety: Oxygen is essential for human and animal respiration, but extremely high or low levels of oxygen can pose safety risks. Monitoring oxygen levels helps ensure a safe working environment for farmers, workers, and livestock. Oxygen analyzers can detect low oxygen levels that may indicate the presence of confined spaces, inadequate ventilation, or potential oxygen depletion in storage areas, thereby preventing asphyxiation and other related hazards.
- Combustion and Fire Prevention: Oxygen is a critical component for combustion processes. In agricultural settings, such as grain handling or biomass facilities, monitoring oxygen levels helps prevent the risk of fire and explosion. Oxygen analyzers can detect oxygen-rich environments that may increase the likelihood of combustion and trigger safety protocols, allowing prompt intervention to prevent accidents.
- Grain Storage: Oxygen analyzers are particularly useful in monitoring oxygen levels during grain storage. High oxygen levels can promote spoilage, mold growth, and pest infestation, leading to quality degradation and economic losses. By regularly monitoring oxygen concentrations, farmers can identify potential issues and implement appropriate control measures, such as aeration or modification of storage conditions, to maintain the quality and longevity of stored grains.
- Controlled Atmosphere Storage: In certain agricultural applications, such as fruit and vegetable storage, maintaining specific oxygen levels is crucial to extend shelf life and prevent spoilage. Oxygen analyzers enable precise control of oxygen concentrations in controlled atmosphere storage systems, allowing farmers to create optimal storage conditions and prolong the freshness of produce.
Our ALPHA OMEGA INSTRUMENTS™ Series 1300™ Oxygen Deficiency Analyzer is also designed for ease of use and can be integrated into various processes, including continuous monitoring and control of oxygen levels in tanks, fermenters, and other production equipment. Its compact size and durability make it suitable for use in harsh industrial environments, including those found in the food and beverage industry.
In agriculture, measuring oxygen levels in silos, storage facilities, and animal confinement facilities is crucial for maintaining the quality and safety of agricultural products. Our OXY-SEN™ Oxygen Monitor is designed to accurately measure oxygen levels in the range of 0-25% in a variety of applications, including agricultural environments. It is easy to use and can be integrated into various agricultural processes, including monitoring oxygen levels in silos and storage facilities, measuring soil oxygen levels for plant growth, and monitoring oxygen levels in animal confinement facilities. Its compact size and durability make it suitable for use in harsh agricultural environments.
STERILIZATION & VIRUS DEACTIVATION
Gas analyzers are commonly used in the sterilization and virus deactivation process in agricultural production to monitor and control the concentration of gases used for disinfection. For example, in greenhouse production, gas analyzers can be used to monitor the concentration of ethylene oxide (ETO) gas used for sterilization of equipment, packaging materials, and products. By ensuring that the correct concentration of gas is being used, farmers and processors can optimize the sterilization process, reducing the risk of contamination and improving product quality.
Sterilization and virus deactivation are important in agricultural production for several reasons:
- Disease prevention: Can help prevent the spread of plant and animal diseases in agricultural production. Many diseases are caused by viruses and other microorganisms that can be spread through contaminated soil, water, and equipment. Sterilization and virus deactivation can help eliminate these contaminants, reducing the risk of disease outbreaks.
- Food safety: Important for ensuring the safety of agricultural products for human consumption. Many viruses and microorganisms can cause foodborne illnesses if they are not properly eliminated during production and processing. Sterilization and virus deactivation can help prevent these illnesses and ensure that agricultural products are safe for consumption.
- Regulatory compliance: Many countries have regulations and standards for sterilization and virus deactivation in agricultural production. Monitoring and ensuring compliance with these regulations is important for avoiding penalties and fines, as well as maintaining consumer trust.
- Product quality: May also improve the quality and shelf life of agricultural products. By reducing the risk of contamination and disease outbreaks, products are less likely to spoil or become damaged during production and storage.
Our solutions include:
- Dual Beam Photometer for Real-Time Hydrogen Peroxide Vapor Sterilant Gas Monitoring GUIDED WAVE™ ClearView db® Hydrogen Peroxide Vapor Analyzer System
- Vapor Probe for H2O2 Analyzer System, Suitable for Vacuum and Positive Pressure (up to 2 atm) GUIDED WAVE™ G-SST Vapor Probe
Pure Gas, Beverage and Fill Gas
Process Water, Pure Water & Wastewater
Agricultural water is water that is used to grow fresh produce and sustain livestock. Pesticide usage promotes poor water quality. Fertilizers use chemicals that harm our water. Stormwater and irrigation carry these chemicals to gullies, streams, lakes, and rivers and seeps into groundwater. When agricultural water is used effectively and safely, production and crop yield increase. A decrease can cause production and yield to decrease.
Monitoring surface water in agriculture is important for several reasons:
- Water quality: Essential resource for agriculture, and it is important to ensure that it is not contaminated with pollutants such as pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, or animal waste. Monitoring surface water can help identify potential sources of contamination and prevent waterborne diseases in both humans and animals.
- Irrigation: Used for irrigation, and monitoring its quality can help ensure that crops are not exposed to harmful levels of contaminants. Poor quality water can also affect soil structure and fertility, which can have negative impacts on crop growth and yield.
- Environmental impact: Agriculture can have a significant impact on the environment, including on water quality. Monitoring surface water can help identify the impacts of agricultural activities on water quality and help develop strategies to mitigate those impacts.
- Regulatory compliance: Many countries have regulations and standards for water quality that must be met for agricultural activities. Monitoring surface water can help ensure that farmers are in compliance with these regulations and avoid potential penalties or fines.
Total Organic Carbon (TOC) monitoring is important for water purification. Sources of TOC are often from detergents, pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, industrial chemicals, and other chlorinated organics. Purification processes for water treatment include removal of undesirable chemicals, bacteria, solid waste and gases and can be very costly. You can quickly monitor Total Organic Carbon (TOC) with our application-specific water quality analyzers and monitor it in crop production water used for irrigation purposes.