Novel Process for Measuring Nitrate/Nitrite and Ammonium in Wastewater Simultaneously


Using a strong alkaline solution and a gas-permeable membrane to measure the concentration of ammonium/ammonia/nitrite/nitrate in wastewater


Due to the growing problems with the conventional processes for treating wastewater, there has recently been a spur in the development and design of a low‑cost nitrogen sensor package that can measure and monitor nitrate and ammonium in septic systems. Conventional processes for wastewater treatments are either too expensive, too ineffective, or simply too time-consuming.

Therefore, there is a need for a method and apparatus that is cost‑effective and can improve the treatment of wastewater streams.



Technology Overview:

This method involves using acidic reactions and a gas-permeable membrane. First, the wastewater stream is mixed with a strong alkaline solution stream, and the ammonium cation within the wastewater is converted to ammonia. The ammonia is then delivered to one side of a gas‑diffusion cell while the other side consists of an acid solution stream. After the ammonia diffuses, it mixes with the acid stream. Then, the ammonium concentration is determined by flowing the acid stream through a conductivity detector; the concentration of ammonium is proportional to the conductivity decrease of the acid stream.

Then, simultaneously, the alkaline sample stream flowing out of the gas diffusion cell is pumped through a reduction column to reduce the nitrate/nitrite into ammonia. The same process is used to determine the concentration of ammonium is then applied to determine the concentration of nitrate/nitrite.



High accuracy and precision

High selectivity for nitrate/nitrite and ammonium. There is no interference from color, turbidity, and hydrate cations/anions

Wide response range

Fast and real‑time measurement

Continuous and automatic measurement

Long‑time continuous deployment and long lifetime

High stability and low maintenance

Simultaneous measurement of nitrate/nitrite and ammonium in a single sensor package



Can be used to measure nitrate/nitrite and ammonium/ammonia in:

Surface water



Water treatment plants

Septic systems


Intellectual Property Summary:

Provisional patent

Stage of Development:


Licensing Potential:

Development partner

Commercial partner



Licensing Status:

Available for licensing.

Additional Information:



Source: Hermann Hammer,, Pixabay License



Patent Information:
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