Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Progress in the automatic detection of water contaminants

Date:
February 18, 2014
Source:
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Summary:
Researchers are working in the development of hydrocarbons early detection devices for rivers in order to prevent contamination that could seriously affect the environment. The new devices use ultraviolet LED as light source that detects contaminant substances thanks to a fluorescence method. This can result in many benefits compared to the current systems due to the development of faster, robust and affordable detection systems. These new devices will be useful for the search of potential dangerous substances present in continental waters.

Oil fluorescence produced by an ultraviolet LED.
Credit: UPM

Researchers at UPM are working in the development of hydrocarbons early detection devices for rivers in order to prevent contamination that could seriously affect the environment.

The new devices use ultraviolet LED as light source that detects contaminant substances thanks to a fluorescence method. This can result in many benefits compared to the current systems due to the development of faster, robust and affordable detection systems. These new devices will be useful for the search of potential dangerous substances present in continental waters, all this according to researchers of the Telecommunication School of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), who are currently studying its viability.

The demand for clean continental waters by European societies and governments is increasing. Thanks to the progress of technological measurement, many contaminants parameters are being measured on rivers and reservoirs (pH, conductivity, oxygen, etc) in order to establish their water quality.

However, there are some contaminants that can be found occasionally (usually by accident) and whose direct identification can be helpful since indirect detection is complex and inexact. On the other hand, rushing contaminants detections are primordial to avoid big mistakes.

Particularly, hydrocarbons are a type of contaminant that should not be present in contaminants water because it can alter dramatically wildlife when a spillage occurs in such water, not forgetting also its removal high cost. The fluorescence light method is non invasive and can help to detect contaminant substances. This method when used in water environment can help detect and identify hydrocarbons.

There are other researchers working in this matter, but are more focused on the marine environment and they also use powerful lasers as light sources. Once the samples are collected they are carried to a lab for their identification, but the time factor is very important and can affect this laser method.

Therefore, researchers launched a study of the light sources available today in order to develop a quick, robust and affordable system. This study discarded some lights used in labs such as xenon because are expensive and need monochromators. The study that is focused on LED light has advantages such as its small device size, quick response and the ability to transmit pulsed light.

These devices are improving faster on the wavelength comparing to the relatively high frequencies. Therefore, research is needed for the viability when working in bad weather conditions, humidity and different temperatures.

The researchers of this study also reveal the viability of obtaining predictable patterns of common fluorescence hydrocarbons that are susceptible of being contaminants (diesel and petrol in different variants or automotive lubricating oil). These patterns can be found thought algorithms. The obtained results confirm why this technique should continue in order to detect contaminants in different waters.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. "Progress in the automatic detection of water contaminants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218100620.htm>.
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. (2014, February 18). Progress in the automatic detection of water contaminants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218100620.htm
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. "Progress in the automatic detection of water contaminants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218100620.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) — Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) — Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) — The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins