EPA Science Inventory

Carbon-Fiber Nitrite Microsensor for In Situ Biofilm Monitoring

Citation:

Lee, W. H., D. WAHMAN, P. L. Bishop, AND J. G. PRESSMAN. Carbon-Fiber Nitrite Microsensor for In Situ Biofilm Monitoring . Presented at World Water Congress and Exhibition, International Water Association, Busan, SOUTH KOREA, September 16 - 21, 2012.

Description:

During nitrification, nitrite is produced as an intermediate when ammonia is oxidized to nitrate. It is well established that nitrifying biofilm are involved in nitrification episodes in chloraminated drinking water distribution systems with nitrite accumulation occurring during incomplete nitrification. Subsequently, the accumulated nitrite may react with monochloramine, accelerating chloramine residual loss (AWWA. 2006). Due to the inability to measure nitrite at the microscopic level in biofilm, our knowledge on the transport and fate of nitrite in the presence of chloramines is incomplete. Microsensors represent one option for in situ biofilm nitrite monitoring, both spatially and temporally. Several studies have focused on electrochemical nitrite determination using microelectrodes (Silva et al., 1996, Okabe et aI., 1999, Zhao et aI., 2003). However, these studies either used linear sweep voltammetry, which is not suitable for spatial and temporal nitrite measurements, or a potentiometric microelectrode with an ionophore that is no longer commercially available. Therefore. this research sought to develop a new amperometric microsensor that would be suitable for measuring biofilm nitrite concentrations. Carbon fibers are often employed as an electrode material in medical use because of their resistance to drift when exposed to biological tissue and are attractive for in vivo use because of their small size (7-35 µm) (Kawagoe et aI. , 1993). In this research, a needle-type carbon-fiber microsensor (7-10 µm tip diameter) for in situ nitrite monitoring was developed, fully characterized, and evaluated for biofilm application. The developed sensor showed excellent performance for nitrite measurement with a fast and stable electrode response over a wide concentration range (0-20 mg N/L), including drinking water relevant nitrite concentrations (0-1 .0 mg N/L). The developed nitrite microsensor represents an essential tool for elucidating nitrification in chloraminated drinking water distribution systems when combined with other microsensors measuring ammonium, nitrate, monochloramine, free chlorine, dissolved oxygen, and pH.

Purpose/Objective:

To inform the public.

URLs/Downloads:

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/EXTENDED ABSTRACT)
Start Date: 09/21/2012
Completion Date: 09/21/2012
Record Last Revised: 10/26/2012
Record Created: 10/14/2011
Record Released: 10/14/2011
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 238932

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

WATER SUPPLY AND WATER RESOURCES DIVISION

TREATMENT TECHNOLOGY EVALUATION BRANCH