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A Remote and Affordable Detection System for Cr(VI) in Groundwater (DOE 2004 SBIR Phase 2)
Investigator: Dr. Michael T. Carter, (PI), 303-530-0263, eltron@eltronresearch.com
Company: Eltron Research, Inc., Boulder, CO; www.eltronresearch.com
Contract Information: DE-FG02-03ER83646
Period of Performance:
SBIR Funds: $749,835
Abstract: Chromium contamination is a widespread problem within the DOE complex. This project will develop a compact, portable, low-cost detection system for the electrochemical monitoring of hexavalent chromium in groundwater. The novel electrocatalytic approach employs robust, screen-printed electrodes that can specifically detect Cr(VI) in the presence of Cr(III) using a simple flow injection analysis system. The monitoring system will provide a reliable and affordable detection scenario for the evaluation and remediation of groundwater. Phase I fabricated miniaturized sensors on chips, proved the technical feasibility of the detection method, and characterized the sensor under a variety of conditions including electrolyte concentration, electrolyte pH, applied electrode potential, and flow rate. Sensitivity, linear dynamic range, detection limits, and response times for this amperometric method were determined and potential interferences present in DOE groundwater were also investigated. During Phase II, the methods and apparatus will be refined and optimized to produce a robust, sensitive system for the reliable detection of hexavalent chromium in groundwater. Electrochemical detection of chromium(VI) in water should provide a low-cost, portable solution for on-site, in situ testing in industrial and personal environmental evaluations. The technology should find applications in drinking water and wastewater analysis, process effluent analysis, electroplating, metal finishing, and environmental remediation.