Lab-on-Chip Measurement of Nitrate and Nitrite for In Situ Analysis of Natural Waters

Beaton, Alexander D.; Cardwell, Christopher L.; Thomas, Rupert S.; Sieben, Vincent J.; Legiret, François-Eric; Waugh, Edward M.; Statham, Peter J.; Mowlem, Matthew C.; Morgan, Hywel. 2012 Lab-on-Chip Measurement of Nitrate and Nitrite for In Situ Analysis of Natural Waters. Environmental Science & Technology, 46 (17). 9548-9556.

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Microfluidic technology permits the miniaturization of chemical analytical methods that are traditionally undertaken using benchtop equipment in the laboratory environment. When applied to environmental monitoring, these “lab-on-chip” systems could allow high-performance chemical analysis methods to be performed in situ over distributed sensor networks with large numbers of measurement nodes. Here we present the first of a new generation of microfluidic chemical analysis systems with sufficient analytical performance and robustness for deployment in natural waters. The system detects nitrate and nitrite (up to 350 μM, 21.7 mg/L as NO3 −) with a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.025 μM for nitrate (0.0016 mg/L as NO3 −) and 0.02 μM for nitrite (0.00092 mg/L as NO2 −). This performance is suitable for almost all natural waters (apart from the oligotrophic open ocean), and the device was deployed in an estuarine environment (Southampton Water) to monitor nitrate+nitrite concentrations in waters of varying salinity. The system was able to track changes in the nitrate−salinity relationship of estuarine waters due to increased river flow after a period of high rainfall. Laboratory characterization and deployment data are presented, demonstrating the ability of the system to acquire data with high temporal resolution.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: NOC Programmes
ISSN: 0013936X
Date made live: 01 Oct 2012 16:12 +0 (UTC)

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