ORNL technology raises bar, lowers cost for groundwater contaminant sensors
Long-term continuous monitoring of groundwater where contaminants are present or suspected could be streamlined with a technology developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. While laboratory-based technologies for analysis of water contaminants are time-consuming, labor-intensive and expensive, the method introduced in a paper published in Analytical Chemistry is eloquent. The system combines a membrane tube and an ion mobility analysis system, or analyzer, creating a single procedure for in-situ monitoring of chlorinated hydrocarbons in water.
"Our technology represents a low-cost yet highly accurate way to monitor contaminants in water and air," said Chemical Sciences Division researcher Jun Xu, the lead researcher for the project.
The proprietary system, called membrane-extraction ion mobility spectrometry, is a single compact device able to detect aqueous tetrachloroethylene and tricholoroethylene concentrations as low as 75 micrograms per liter with a monitoring duty cycle of three minutes. Xu noted that this technology would reduce the cost of long-term monitoring of contaminants in groundwater by up to 80 percent.
"Based on this technology, a field-deployable sensor can be made and you would no longer need to have someone take a groundwater sample from a well and ship it to a laboratory for testing," Xu said. "The ORNL sensor does all three of these tasks in one step and very quickly, saving money."
Groundwater monitoring, however, is just one example of the technology's capabilities. The sensor can also be configured to monitor well, tap or river water or other water suspected of having an undesirable or possibly illegal level of contamination. Also, additional membranes with different properties can be installed to enable collection of a wider variety of contaminants.
- Report: Cleanup of some contaminated groundwater sites unlikely for decadesThu, 8 Nov 2012, 16:34:48 EST
- Story tips from the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory February 2010Wed, 3 Feb 2010, 16:33:25 EST
- Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory July 2010Thu, 1 Jul 2010, 11:36:37 EDT
- Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory -- Aug. 2009Mon, 3 Aug 2009, 12:49:24 EDT
- ORNL's newly licensed neutron detector will advance human disease research Thu, 6 Sep 2012, 17:05:43 EDT
- ORNL technology raises bar, lowers cost for groundwater contaminant sensorsfrom Science CentricFri, 7 May 2010, 8:31:09 EDT
- ORNL technology raises bar, lowers cost for groundwater contaminant sensorsfrom PhysorgThu, 6 May 2010, 13:02:44 EDT
- ORNL technology raises bar, lowers cost for groundwater contaminant sensorsfrom Science BlogThu, 6 May 2010, 12:07:15 EDT
- New Technology Raises Bar, Lowers Cost for Groundwater Contaminant Sensorsfrom Newswise - ScinewsThu, 6 May 2010, 12:06:51 EDT
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Learn more about
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- UC Davis engineers create on-wetting fabric drains sweat
- Protein study suggests drug side effects are inevitable
- Bed sharing leads to fivefold increase in risk of cot death for babies whose parents do not smoke
- Gym class reduces probability of obesity, study finds for first time
- Origins of human culture linked to rapid climate change
No popular news yet
No popular news yet
- Stem cell transplant restores memory, learning in mice
- 2 landmark studies report on success of using image-guided brachytherapy to treat cervical cancer
- Researchers discover mushrooms can provide as much vitamin D as supplements
- Cutting back on sleep harms blood vessel function and breathing control
- Study: Low-dose aspirin stymies proliferation of 2 breast cancer lines