A continuous exchange of electrons takes place between the substance in the earth, in air, in water and even in human bodies. This phenomenon of continuous exchange of electrons is known as ION exchange. Oxidation reduction potential (ORP) is the degree to which a substance is capable of reducing or oxidizing another substance.
Oxidation is the loss of electrons in which electrons are transferred from one substance to another and reduction is the gain of electrons. Oxidation reduction potential is measured using an electrochemical sensor called ORP sensor. ORP sensor is also known as REDOX sensor that is used to measure the cleanliness of the water.
ORP is measured in millivolts (mV) and can detect a range from -2000mV to +2000 mV. Oxidation Reduction Potential sensors works by measuring the dissolved oxygen in water. It consists of two electrodes, one is a reference electrode and other is made up gold or platinum, the reference electrode made up of saturated calomel or silver chloride. When the measuring electrode is exposed to reducing oxidizing agent, electrons are constantly transferred back and forth that results in generation of tiny voltage.
The ORP electrode measures the voltage across the circuit formed by the two electrodes. Positive reading range indicates strong oxidizing agent while negative reading indicate strong reducing agent. Higher the contaminants present in the water, lesser the oxygen dissolved, this is due to organics consuming the oxygen.
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The three main performance specifications of the ORP electrodes are ORP range, accuracy and response time. Every ORP level (mV) contained in water has some application. For instance water with 0-150mV ORP level has no practical use. Water with ORP level range of 400-475mV, 600mV, and 800mV is used in swimming pools, water disinfection and water sterilization applications respectively.
ORP measurement is needed in variety of processes. One of the key drivers of ORP sensor market is its wide use in swimming pool and food processing units. It is the cost effective method and are mainly used in swimming pool and food processing units to check the contamination level. It is used as an indicator for sanitizing activity. The other factors that can drive the ORP sensor market is its application in water treatment and purification, environmental and wine making. However increase in cost of strategic raw materials price can be a restraint for ORP sensor market.