Evaluation of ammonia absorption coefficients by photoacoustic spectroscopy for detection of ammonia levels in human breath
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Photoacoustic spectroscopy represents a powerful technique for measuring extremely low absorptions independent of the path length and offers a degree of parameter control that cannot be attained by other methods. We report precise measurements of the ammonia absorption coefficients at the CO2 laser wavelengths by using a photoacoustic (PA) cell in an extracavity configuration and we compare our results with other values reported in the literature. Ammonia presents a clear fingerprint spectrum and high absorption strengths in the CO2 wavelengths region. Because more than 250 molecular gases of environmental concern for atmospheric, industrial, medical, military, and scientific spheres exhibit strong absorption bands in the region 9.2–10.8 μm, we have chosen a frequency tunable CO2 laser. In the present work, ammonia absorption coefficients were measured at both branches of the CO2 laser lines by using a calibrated mixture of 10 ppm NH3 in N2. We found the maximum absorption in the 9 μm region, at 9R(30) line of the CO2 laser. One of the applications based on the ammonia absorption coefficients is used to measure the ammonia levels in exhaled human breath. This can be used to determine the exact time necessary at every session for an optimal degree of dialysis at patients with end-stage renal disease.
KeywordsLaser Physics Photoacoustic Spectroscopy Acoustic Resonator Human Breath Photoacoustic Technique
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