New ammonium-selective membrane electrode based on poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) membrane containing palmitic acid (a long-chain fatty acid) and nonactin as an ammonium ionophore for the determination of ammonim ions in the 10(-7)-10(-1) mol/L concentration range was prepared and compared to those of the electrode prepared by using carboxylated PVC. Sebacate was used as a plasticiser for both of the ammonium sensor membranes. The analytical characteristics of the ammonium electrodes was investigated. The effect of pH, buffer concentration, temperature and stirring rate on the response to ammonium electrode was investigated. The linear working range and sensitivity of the electrodes were also determined. Ammonium electrodes give Nernstian response (52-58 mV/p[NH4+]) throughout the ammonium ion concentration range of 10(-1) to 10(-6) M with detection limits of 10(-6) M ammonium ions. The ammonium-selective electrodes prepared by using the PVC membranes containing palmitic acid showed more effective performance than those of the carboxylated PVC. The ammonium ion sensor has potential application in the analysis of ammonium ions for biosensor construction.