Purdue Water Institute receives US Patent

George Nnanna

The Purdue Calumet Water Institute and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Directed by Professor George Nnanna, has received a U.S. patent for the development of an oxazine-based Optical Sensor for online continuous detection of ammonia contaminants in water delivery systems. Nnanna and engineering alumnus Hasnain Jalal developed the sensor.

Nnanna and Hasnain Jalal (former Engineering Graduate) contributes to patent acquisition

The Purdue Calumet Water Institute and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, directed by Professor George Nnanna, has received a patent from the U.S. Patent Office for development of an oxazine-based optical sensor for online continuous detection of ammonia contaminant in water delivery systems.

“Ammonia is a ubiquitous chemical with a multitude of agricultural, domestic and industrial purposes,” Nnanna said. “However, a small amount of ammonia can be lethal to aquatic organisms, and prolonged exposure at low concentration is dangerous to humans. Given these risks, reliable detection is of the utmost importance in protecting humans and wildlife.”
Developed at the Water Institute, the Optical Sensor uses optical fibers that are ideal for In-situ online monitoring of water delivery systems. The sensor reduces the need for batch-sampling in contaminant detection.

Nnanna added that the sensor is effective in both stagnant and moving water, has instantaneous response times, and has ammonia detection limits of 1.4 parts per million (ppm) in stagnant water and 3.9 ppm in moving water.