Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New system to detect mercury in water systems

Date:
July 25, 2014
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
A new ultra-sensitive, low-cost and portable system for detecting mercury in environmental water has been developed by researchers. "The promising sensing performance of this system along with its cost-competiveness and portability make it an excellent potential alternative to current analytical techniques," says the project's leader. "This technique could provide the basis for future point-of-analysis systems for monitoring water quality on site and may help implement better monitoring processes around the world."

A new ultra-sensitive, low-cost and portable system for detecting mercury in environmental water has been developed by University of Adelaide researchers.

Related Articles


Published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, the research team outlined its innovative optical sensing system suitable for detecting low levels of mercury at the site of interest.

"Mercury has been accumulating in the natural environment since the start of industrialization and there are worldwide concerns about potential human health and environmental effects," says project leader Dr Abel Santos, Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow with the University's School of Chemical Engineering.

"Recently, these concerns have seen the introduction of a global convention aimed at controlling, monitoring and reducing mercury pollution at a world scale.

"There are current systems capable of monitoring mercury at trace levels, but they are huge machines that can't be easily moved, are very expensive and complicated to use and require comprehensive training. Samples also require chemical treatment before analysis.

"Our system is very cost-competitive, only as big as a mobile phone and easy to use. With very basic training, someone could take it to a river or lake and do a mercury reading on the spot."

The project is a collaboration between the Losic Nano Research group in the School of Chemical Engineering and University Rovira i Virgili in Spain, and most of the experimental work has been carried out by PhD candidate Tushar Kumeria. The team has engineered a nanoporous material called nanoporous anodic alumina to make a special structure called a rugate filter.

The surface of the filter has been modified to make it selective to mercury ions. As water flows through the pores of the filter, the mercury ions become attached to the surface. An optical system -- reflection spectroscopy -- measures the amount of mercury present.

A range of tests have shown the sensor can detect mercury at levels of 200 parts per billion in a complex mixture of other metal ions and environmental samples. Continued work will seek to enhance the optical signals for even higher sensitivity.

"The promising sensing performance of this system along with its cost-competiveness and portability make it an excellent potential alternative to current analytical techniques," says Dr Santos. "This technique could provide the basis for future point-of-analysis systems for monitoring water quality on site and may help implement better monitoring processes around the world."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tushar Kumeria, Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman, Abel Santos, Josep Ferrι-Borrull, Lluνs F. Marsal, Dusan Losic. Nanoporous Anodic Alumina Rugate Filters for Sensing of Ionic Mercury: Toward Environmental Point-of-Analysis Systems. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2014; 140724090802003 DOI: 10.1021/am502882d

Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "New system to detect mercury in water systems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140725110710.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2014, July 25). New system to detect mercury in water systems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140725110710.htm
University of Adelaide. "New system to detect mercury in water systems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140725110710.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Going Ape: Sierra Leone Chimpanzees Hail Ebola Retreat

Going Ape: Sierra Leone Chimpanzees Hail Ebola Retreat

AFP (Apr. 21, 2015) — As money runs out at Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone, around 85 chimps are facing homelessness. The centre closed when the Ebola epidemic was ravaging the country but now that closure is beginning to look permanent. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Wild Weather Lashes Sydney Region

Wild Weather Lashes Sydney Region

AFP (Apr. 21, 2015) — Sydney and surrounding areas are lashed by wild weather with trees felled, power cuts hitting thousands of homes and sand drifts sweeping inland off the iconic Bondi beach. Duration: 00:50 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) — Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pee-Power Toilet to Light Up Disaster Zones

Pee-Power Toilet to Light Up Disaster Zones

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 20, 2015) — Students and staff are being asked to use a prototype urinal to &apos;donate&apos; urine to fuel microbial fuel cell (MFC) stacks that generate electricity to power lighting. The developers hope the pee-power technology will light toilet cubicles in refugee camps, where women are often at risk of assault in poorly lit sanitation areas. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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