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 Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>