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NEWS

Diverse Applications of Gas Sensors in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Fields

DFRobot May 17 2023 1425

In the fields of agriculture and livestock breeding, gas sensors play a vital role in detecting and monitoring gas concentration and quality, such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, ammonia, and methane, during production process. Monitoring these parameters is crucial for improving the yield and quality of agricultural products, as well as protecting the health of farmers and animals.

The basic principle of gas sensors is to detect the changes in the interaction between gas molecules and the sensor using various detection principles, and convert them into electronic signals for measurement. Gas sensors can be classified into electrochemical sensors, photoacoustic sensors, infrared sensors, and other types depending on the detection principle. These sensors typically have high sensitivity, fast response, and ease of integration, and can meet the needs of various agricultural and livestock breeding scenarios.

Let's take a look at the applications of gas sensors in various scenarios.


Smart Greenhouse Monitoring

Gas sensors in smart greenhouses mainly have two applications - helping to monitor the greenhouse climate and detecting soil gases to assist in precise fertilization.


Greenhouse Climate Monitoring

Greenhouse Climate Monitoring

(credit: unsplash)


Choosing the appropriate sensor type and meeting the corresponding performance requirements can help agricultural producers achieve precise control of the greenhouse environment, improve agricultural production efficiency and yield, and at the same time reduce resource waste and environmental pollution.


Gas sensors play a crucial role in the monitoring scenario of greenhouse climate, mainly in the following aspects:

  • Monitor the gas composition in the greenhouse, such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, methane (if natural gas is used for heating in the greenhouse) to maintain the appropriate environment for plant growth.
  • Adjust the climatic conditions in real-time by monitoring the gas composition in the greenhouse, providing the best growth environment for plants, and thereby increasing yield and optimizing resource utilization.
  • Assist in the implementation of automated and intelligent greenhouse management, enabling agricultural producers to achieve precise control of the greenhouse environment and reduce labor costs.

  • The following types of gas sensors are mainly needed in the monitoring scenario of the greenhouse climate:

  • Carbon dioxide sensor: Used to detect the concentration of carbon dioxide in the greenhouse to ensure the normal process of photosynthesis in plants.
  • Oxygen sensor: Monitors the oxygen content in the greenhouse to maintain the suitable oxygen concentration required for plant growth.
  • Methane sensor: Detects the concentration of methane in the greenhouse to prevent possible methane leaks and ensure the safety and stability of the environment inside the greenhouse.

  • For gas sensors used in the monitoring scenario of the greenhouse climate, the following requirements should be met (these requirements are also applicable for sensors used in other scenarios):

  • High accuracy: To ensure precise control of the greenhouse's climate conditions, the sensor needs to have high-precision measurement capabilities to accurately detect gas composition and concentration.
  • Stability: The sensor needs to have high stability to ensure the reliability of measurement results during long-term operation.
  • Fast response: The greenhouse environment may change rapidly, and sensors need to have fast response capabilities to enable real-time adjustments to environmental conditions to meet the needs of plant growth.
  • Interference resistance: There may be multiple gas components in the greenhouse environment, and sensors need to have strong interference resistance to avoid measurement results being affected by other gases.
  • Low power consumption: To reduce energy consumption, sensors should have a low power consumption design, especially for wireless communication-based sensor systems, which can improve the device's service life and maintenance cycle.
  • Durability: Due to the high humidity and temperature fluctuations that may exist in the greenhouse environment, the sensor needs to have strong durability to ensure normal operation in severe conditions.
  • Easy installation and maintenance: The greenhouse climate monitoring system needs to be conveniently installed and maintained to reduce management costs.
  • Data transmission capability: To achieve real-time monitoring and intelligent management, sensors need to have reliable data transmission capabilities to seamlessly connect with data acquisition, processing, and control systems.

  • Soil Gas Monitoring and Precision Fertilization

    Soil Gas Monitoring and Precision Fertilization

    (credit: unsplash)


    By monitoring the key gas components in the soil, agricultural producers and environmental monitoring agencies can more accurately assess soil health, fertility, and environmental risks. Choosing suitable sensor types and meeting corresponding performance requirements can help improve soil management practices, assisting agricultural producers in achieving scientific fertilization, and enhancing crop yields and quality.


    The primary roles of gas sensors in soil gas monitoring scenarios include:

  • Monitoring key gas components in the soil, such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, carbon monoxide, methane, etc., to evaluate soil health and biological activity.
  • Assisting in the assessment of soil fertility, facilitating appropriate fertilization and management strategies for agricultural producers.
  • Monitoring key gas components in the soil, such as nitrogen, to aid in the evaluation of soil fertility and in developing suitable fertilization and management strategies for agricultural producers.
  • Reducing the problems of environmental pollution and resource waste brought about by excessive or insufficient fertilization.
  • Enhancing fertilization effectiveness and crop yield and quality by real-time monitoring of gas concentrations.

  • The following types of gas sensors are mainly required in soil gas monitoring scenarios:

  • Carbon Dioxide sensors: Carbon dioxide is one of the important substances that plants use in photosynthesis. The level of carbon dioxide concentration can help farmers optimize the growth and yield of crops.
  • Oxygen sensors: Oxygen is one of the gases that plants and microorganisms need for respiration. Therefore, the oxygen content is essential for evaluating soil health and production potential. Oxygen-deficient soils are unfavorable for plant and microorganism growth, which may lead to reduced yields or disease occurrence.
  • Carbon monoxide sensors: Carbon monoxide levels can reflect the organic matter content in the soil. High concentrations of carbon monoxide usually indicate that the speed of organic matter decomposition is relatively rapid.
  • Nitrogen sensors: Monitoring of nitrogen content in the soil provides a basis for nitrogen fertilizer application.
  • Methane sensors: Monitoring methane concentrations in the soil is closely related to soil microorganism activity and is one of the indicators of soil respiration.

  • soil gas monitoring

    (credit: unsplash)


    For gas sensors in soil gas monitoring and precision fertilization scenarios, the following requirements must be met:

  • Sensitivity: The sensors need to have high sensitivity to detect the gas components and concentrations accurately in the soil.
  • Reliability: The sensors must maintain high reliability in various environmental conditions to ensure data accuracy.
  • Longevity: Due to the long agricultural production cycle, sensors require a long service life to reduce maintenance costs.
  • Anti-interference ability: There are various gas components in agricultural environments, sensors need to have strong anti-interference ability to avoid other gases affecting the measurement results.
  • Adaptability: Sensors need to adapt to different types of soils and climatic conditions to ensure normal operation in various environments.
  • Easy to install and maintain: To reduce management costs in agriculture, sensors should be easy to install and maintain.
  • Data transmission capability: Sensors need to have reliable data transmission capabilities to seamlessly connect with data collection, processing, and control systems, enabling real-time monitoring and intelligent management.

  • Livestock Environmental Monitoring

    Livestock Environmental Monitoring

    (credit: Pexels)


    Monitoring the environment in animal husbandry through sensors that detect key gas components in livestock pens can help producers accurately evaluate the quality of the environment, ensure animal health, and increase production efficiency. Selecting suitable sensor types and meeting performance requirements can contribute to sustainable development in animal husbandry and reduce environmental impact.


    The primary roles of gas sensors in animal husbandry environmental monitoring include:

  • Monitoring key gas components in livestock pens, such as ammonia, carbon dioxide, and methane, to ensure the comfort and health of livestock.
  • Monitoring air quality in greenhouses (hydrogen sulfide, ammonia) to prevent the accumulation of harmful gases that can be detrimental to humans and animals.
  • Preventing and controlling disease to reduce losses in animal production.
  • Evaluating the ventilation status of livestock pens to provide a basis for optimizing ventilation systems.
  • Monitoring gas emissions from livestock pens to reduce the impact of animal husbandry on the environment.

  • In animal husbandry environmental monitoring scenarios, the following types of gas sensors are mainly needed:

  • Ammonia sensors: to monitor ammonia concentrations in livestock pens, maintain animal health, and prevent respiratory diseases.
  • Carbon dioxide sensors: to detect carbon dioxide levels in livestock pens, assess ventilation efficiency, and evaluate animal respiratory conditions.
  • Methane sensors: to monitor methane concentrations in livestock pens, prevent fire accidents, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In addition to the above mentioned sensors, the same requirements apply for sensors used in this scenario.


    Agricultural Product Storage and Preservation

    Agricultural Product Storage and Preservation

    (Woman Cleaning Sweet Potatoes, credit: Pexels)


    In agricultural product storage and freshness preservation scenarios, gas sensors play an important role. Selecting appropriate sensor types and meeting corresponding performance requirements can help evaluate the preservation status, freshness, and risks of agricultural products more accurately.


    Commonly used types of gas sensors and their functions include:

  • Oxygen: to detect the oxygen concentration in cold storage to ensure that goods remain fresh during long-term storage.
  • Carbon dioxide: to detect CO2 concentrations in cold storage to prevent spoilage due to oxygen deficiency, and to prevent rapid decay of certain agricultural products.
  • Ethylene: some fresh fruits and vegetables produce ethylene gas, which promotes their maturation and decay. Detecting ethylene can help ensure the freshness of products.
  • Ammonia: meat, dairy products, poultry, and vegetables can produce large amounts of ammonia in storage and processing, which needs to be identified and controlled. Ammonia release can rapidly decrease the oxygen content in goods, detecting ammonia concentrations can help ensure the freshness and quality of agricultural products stored for a long period of time.

  • Similarly, the above mentioned sensors also need to meet the various requirements in the previous scenarios.

    If you are interested in the different types of sensors mentioned above, we welcome you to visit our website to learn more about the characteristics and parameters of these sensors to provide you with customized solutions for your application scenarios.

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