Jan. 2, 2007 A new method for detecting cyanide in drinking water and other sources offers numerous advantages over cumbersome existing technology, scientists report in an article scheduled for the Jan. 1 issue of ACS' Analytical Chemistry, a semi-monthly journal.
Idaho State University's Jeffrey J. Rosentreter, Yegor G. Timofeyenko and Susan Mayo point out that cyanide is critical in industries ranging from fertilizers and plastics to mining and steel production, with 1.4 million tons produced worldwide each year.
Cyanide also is toxic and its presence in the environment must be monitored closely. Existing instruments, however, require large samples, take a long time to produce results, require specially trained operators, and have poor precision and other drawbacks.
The researchers describe development of a new cyanide sensor that overcomes those disadvantages, while being inexpensive and portable.
The sensor, for instance, produces results of toxins in water instantaneously and targets the specific form of cyanide toxic to humans and other organisms -- making it especially attractive for safety and security applications, the researchers state.
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