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A Hybrid Electronic Tongue For Geoenvironmental Site Characterization

Investigators
Kurup, Pradeep U; Nagarajan, Ramaswamy
Institutions
University of Massachusetts - Lowell
Start date
2010
End date
2013
Abstract

This project will support the development of a novel ?electronic tongue cone penetrometer? for on-site characterization of heavy metals such as Arsenic, Cadmium, Copper, Chromium, Lead, Manganese, Mercury, Nickel, Selenium, Thallium and Zinc in soils and groundwater. The electronic tongue is a device that mimics the human gustatory system using microelectrode sensor arrays coupled with artificial intelligence for pattern recognition. The project will involve fundamental research to design and assemble materials for highly sensitive and broadly-selective microelectrode sensors. This will be followed by the development of conductometric and voltammetric techniques for the hybrid electronic tongue. In addition, intelligent machine learning models for multivariate data processing and interpretation will be developed for classification and quantification of heavy metals. Calibration chamber studies will be conducted to develop methods for analysis of heavy metals in aqueous soil samples. Finally, the microelectrode sensor arrays will be deployed in a field-rugged cone penetrometer to facilitate real-time geoenvironmental site characterization. The successful completion of this project would result in the development of a novel in situ tool and method, for rapid, safe, and cost effective characterization of heavy metal contaminated sites. This minimally invasive technology will limit potential personnel exposure to contaminated media, and reduce the amount of investigation-derived waste normally generated during conventional borehole drilling and sampling activities. It will also reduce the time-consuming laboratory analysis during initial site investigations, and will provide regulatory agencies with critical information that is necessary for taking appropriate steps such as communicating drinking water advisories in a timely manner. This technology can also be expanded further to detect other types of toxins, making this approach applicable to diverse fields such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical diagnostics, food industry, environmental monitoring, law enforcement and homeland security.

Funding Source
United States Nat'l. Science Fndn.
Project source
View this project
Project number
1031505
Categories
Chemical Contaminants
Heavy Metals