Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

European Water Directive: Optical sensors detect minute amounts of pollutants

01.09.2004


Minute amounts of organic pollutants—including oestrone—can now be detected in river water as a result of a new optical sensing instrument realised in a project funded by the EU’s Environment Programme.

Pollution in water sources has been identified as a major source of environmental hazard, most recently associated with gender changes in fish, and implicated in falling levels of male fertility. Monitoring water quality and identifying pollution sources is therefore crucially important in river management.

Across the EU, methods of water monitoring need to be developed and implemented to ensure effective standardized enforcement of EU water quality directives. With partners in the UK, Germany, Spain, and the Slovak Republic, the EU-funded AWACSS (Automated Water Analyser Computer Supported System) project has developed a cost-effective online water-monitoring instrument that will help meet the needs of water managers.



The new instrument has drawn on the skills of research scientists and environmentalists and has been successfully demonstrated in river waters. It is designed for networking across Europe, and further developments are expected to enable early detection and warning.
The system uses optical sensors to enable rapid, simultaneous and high-sensitivity fluorescence detection of up to 32 organic pollutants and pesticides in river water. Amongst the pollutants to be successfully detected is oestrone, which occurs naturally and as a by-product of the contraceptive pill.

‘Optical sensors have great potential in simultaneous, rapid, high-sensitivity measurement of multiple pollutants in water,’ said Professor James Wilkinson of the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton.

‘The biosensor chip enables us to measure a large number of low molecular weight organic pollutants, and we have successfully detected levels at below 1 nanogram per litre for oestrone, which is one hundred times better than the original project target.

‘Ultimately the instrument will be networked so that pollution sources can be monitored remotely with full automation,’ he continued, ‘and trend analysis and early-warning capabilities will be provided.’

It is envisaged that the network will be distributed over a water catchment area, allowing a source of pollution to be localized early and characterized rapidly. In cases of severe water pollution, precautionary systems will be activated automatically or manually by operators of wastewater treatment plants.

Joyce Lewis | alfa
Further information:
http://www.soton.ac.uk
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk
http://barolo.ipc.uni-tuebingen.de/awacss/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>