Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel recently announced the development of a new nitrate sensor that will provide real-time and continuous measurement in soil to better detect water pollution and measure conditions for higher agricultural productivity.
The new, optical nitrate sensor is based on absorption spectroscopy. It enables continuous, real-time measurement of nitrate and can detect nitrate concentrations in the range of tens to hundreds of parts per million, which is the range relevant to growing crops. Its ability to continuously monitor soil nitrate levels produces a highly detailed portrayal of the rapidly changing concentrations of nitrate in the soil solution. The new sensor is also highly resistant to harsh chemical and physical soil conditions.
According to Shirley Sheffer Hoffman, senior vice president of business development for water, energy and agriculture at BGN Technologies, the university’s technology-transfer company, this project received funding from the Israel Innovation Authority; BGN Technologies is seeking an industry partner for its further development and commercialization.