Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

`Glowing` technique could detect river pollution

08.10.2002


New technology used to analyse dissolved organic matter in river water could also help scientists detect and monitor pollution, according to a new research published in the journal Hydrological Processes.



Dissolved organic matter is found in all river water, and can come from both a natural source such as the soil, as well as human sources such as organic pollutants. It can produce natural fluorescence which can be seen using high-tech equipment.

Researchers from Newcastle University took samples of the water in the River Ouseburn at Newcastle, and found that 70% could be correctly classified to the river`s tributaries by measuring the natural fluorescence in the water.


Occasions when the scientists were unable to discriminate the tributary waters were due to either pollution or strong seasonal differences in dissolved organic matter.

Fluorescence is the process where molecules emit light after being energised. For example, glow in the dark toys fluoresce after being energised by ultra-violet daylight.

River waters fluoresce at wavelengths that the eye cannot see. They would also seem to glow in the dark if our eyes were sensitive to ultraviolet light.

However, the scientists used machines called spectrophotometers, which can see this fluorescence. Recent technological advances permit the rapid and precise measurement of river water fluorescence.

Dr Andy Baker, of the Centre for Land Use and Water Resources, Newcastle University, who led the research team, said: "Results suggest that spectrophotometric techniques have considerable potential in the fingerprinting of dissolved organic matter in rivers.

"This is very important as up until now it has not been possible to separate the dissolved organic matter fractions in river water. However, our results mean that it is now possible to use dissolved organic matter as a natural fingerprint of different water sources, and to monitor and detect organic pollutants. "

Dr Andy Baker | alfa
Further information:
http://www.cluwrr.ncl.ac.uk/people/ab.html
http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ecam/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>