The MQ-135 Gas sensor can detect gases like Ammonia (NH3), sulfur (S), Benzene (C6H6), CO2, and other harmful gases and smoke. Similar to other MQ series gas sensor, this sensor also has a digital and analog output pin. When the level of these gases go beyond a threshold limit in the air the digital pin goes high. This threshold value can be set by using the on-board potentiometer. The analog output pin, outputs an analog voltage which can be used to approximate the level of these gases in the atmosphere.
The MQ135 air quality sensor module operates at 5V and consumes around 150mA. It requires some pre-heating before it could actually give accurate results.
Details of MQ135 Sensor
The MQ135 is one of the popular gas sensors from the MQ series of sensors that are commonly used in air quality control equipment. It operates from 2.5V to 5.0V and can provide both digital and analog output. The pinouts and important components on an MQ135 Module is marked below
Note that all MQ sensors have to be powered up for a pre-heat duration for the sensor to warm up before it can start working. This pre-heat time is normally between 30 seconds to a couple of minutes. When you power up the module the power LED will turn on, leave the module in this state till the pre-heat duration is completed.
Technical Specifications of MQ135 Gas Sensor
- Operating Voltage: 2.5V to 5.0V
- Power consumption: 150mA
- Detect/Measure: NH3, Nox, CO2, Alcohol, Benzene, Smoke
- Typical operating Voltage: 5V
- Digital Output: 0V to 5V (TTL Logic ) @ 5V Vcc
- Analog Output: 0-5V @ 5V Vcc
Detect Harmful Gases using Digital Pin:
The digital output pin of the sensor can be used to detect harmful gases in the environment. The sensitivity of the digital pin can be controlled by using the 10k potentiometer. If the gas is detected the indicator LED D0 will turn on and the digital pin will go from logic high to logic low (0V). The LM393 Op-Amp Comparator IC is used to compare the actual gas value with the value set using the potentiometer. If the actual gas value increases than the set value then the digital output pin gets low.
Because of the onboard LM393 comparator IC the MQ135 Gas sensor module can also be used without the need of an external microcontroller. Simply power up the module and set the sensitivity of the digital pin using the potentiometer, then when the module detects the gas the digital pin will go low. This digital pin can directly be used to drive a buzzer or LED with the help of simple transistors.
Measure PPM Value using Analog Pin:
The Analog output pin of the sensor can be used to measure the PPM value of the required gas. To do this we need to use an external microcontroller like Arduino. The microcontroller will measure the value of analog voltage and perform some calculations to find the value of Rs/Ro where Rs is the sensor resistance when gas is present and Ro is sensor resistance at clean air. Once we find this ratio of Rs/Ro we can use it to calculate the PPM value of required gas using the graph below which is taken from the datasheet of MQ135 Sensor.
If you are just detecting the gas and not measuring the PPM then the module need not be calibrated or pre-heated and hence it is extremely simple to use. You can find these MQ Gas sensors commonly used in Gas/Smoke detectors and Air Quality Monitors. The dimensions of the MQ135 Gas sensor module is given below