Aberdeen: Real-time Nitrate Direct Detection Electrode

05 May 2010 | News

Licensing opportunity

Changing patterns of agricultural practices, food processing and industrialisation have resulted in an accumulation of nitrates in the environment. Sewage treatment and livestock and poultry production also contribute nitrogenous wastes to the soil and water.

The nitrate content of foods and water is of considerable concern due to possible health effects. For example, high levels of nitrate have been linked with infant methaemoglobinaenia, also known as blue baby syndrome. Nitrates may also be metabolised into potential carcinogens in the gut; and have been shown to affect DNA transcription.

The direct detection electrode, developed by scientists at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, which is constructed without an inner-reference solution, can be used for the real time determination of nitrate. Recent research has shown this to have worked in testing of different vegetables and bottled mineral waters, and the technology can be used in other nitrate testing applications.

The key benefits include:

  • Real time measurement (a 20 second response time)

  • No internal reference solution needed

  • Highly Specific - little or no interference from other ions

  • pH range 2.3 - 6.9

Applications include water and soil testing, testing fruit, vegetables and drinks testing. A patent is pending. For more information, visit the project's website: http://www.university-technology.com/details/real-time-nitrate-direct-detection-electrode

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