A Remote Monitoring System for the Detection of Nitrates and Nitrites in Groundwater

Period of Performance: 01/01/2003 - 12/31/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Eltron Research, Inc.
4600 Nautilus Court South
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


70237S02-II Nitrate contamination in groundwater and surface water is a widespread problem within the DOE complex. This project will develop a compact, portable, low-cost monitoring system for nitrate and nitrite in water. The approach is based on electrochemical monitoring and uses robust, screen-printed electrodes that can specifically detect nitrite, and a simple, microfluidic sampling system for the combined detection of both nitrite and nitrate. Phase I fabricated miniaturized sensors on a chip, proved the technical feasibility of the detection method, and characterized the sensor (in terms of analyte concentration, pH, electrode potential, and electrolyte type) under a variety of conditions. In Phase II, the methods and apparatus will be refined and optimized to produce a robust, sensitive system for the reliable monitoring of nitrite and nitrate in water. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: The electrochemical detection of nitrate/nitrite would provide a low-cost, portable solution to, in situ testing for industrial and personal environmental evaluations. Other applications include drinking water and wastewater analysis, process effluent analysis, and environmental remediation.