skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Field-deployable, nano-sensing approach for real-time detection of free mercury, speciation and quantification in surface stream waters and groundwater samples at the U.S. Department of Energy contaminated sites

The detrimental effects on human health caused by long-term exposure to trace contamination of toxic metals have been documented in numerous epidemiological and toxicological studies. The fact that metals are non-biodegradable and accumulate in the food chain poses a severe threat to the environment and human health. Their monitoring in drinking water, aquatic ecosystems, food and biological fluids samples is then essential for global sustainability. While research efforts employing established methodology continue to advance conceptual/computational models of contaminant behavior, the increasing awareness and public concern with environmental and occupational exposure to toxic metals calls for sensing devices capable to handle on-site elemental analysis in short analysis time. Field analysis with potable methodology prevents unnecessary scrutiny of un-contaminated samples via laboratory-bound methods, reduces analysis cost and expedites turnaround time for decision making and remediation purposes. Of particular toxicological interest are mercury and its species. Mercury is recognized as a major environmental pollution issue. The field-portable sensor developed in this project provides a unique and valuable tool for the on-site, real-time determination of inorganic mercury in surface waters. The ability to perform on-site analysis of mercury should prove useful in remote locations with difficult accessibility. It should facilitate data collection from statisticallymore » meaningful population sizes for a better understanding of the dose-effect role and the water-soil-plant-animal-human transfer mechanisms. The acquired knowledge should benefit the development of efficient environmental remediation processes, which is extremely relevant for a globally sustainable environment.« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. UCF
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
University of Central Florida
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY nano-sensing; field portable instrumentation; mercury; surface waters