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Flat flexible thin milli-electrode array for real-time in situ water quality monitoring in distribution systems

Abstract

Drinking water quality along distribution systems is critical for public health. Until now, general end-users have no effective method to in situ measure the drinking water quality and first-hand know any violation. In return, there has been no feedback close-loop of water quality monitoring and control regime along distribution systems to provide real-time in situ early-warning for water treatment plants. This study targeted this crucial challenge by developing flat flexible thin micro-electrode array (MEA) sensors that integrated multiple types of mm-sized sensors to simultaneously monitor critical water quality parameters (temperature, conductivity, pH, Cl- and ClO-). MEA films were directly mounted onto a water tube that simulated distribution systems. Each type of sensors showed high accuracy with R2 higher than 0.95 at the calibration tests. The shock tests clearly demonstrated the higher sensitivity of MEA sensors than commercial sensors, and the advantage of integrating multiple types of sensors on a single film for auto-correction. More importantly, the Ag nanoparticle-modified ClO- MEA sensors showed high selectivity with the presence of competing element (Cl-). Four-week tests in tap water revealed the intact structure of MEA sensors and stable signal output. Overall, the MEAs possessed high accuracy, sensitivity, and selectivity for monitoring water quality. Flat flexible thin material and integrated configuration make easy deployment along distribution systems and end-user points, and ultimately enable the in situ assessment of water quality in water infrastructure.

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Apr 2017, accepted on 31 May 2017 and first published on 05 Jun 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7EW00103G
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Flat flexible thin milli-electrode array for real-time in situ water quality monitoring in distribution systems

    B. Li, Z. Xu, W. Zhou, Y. Li, Y. Lei, A. Bagtzoglou, Q. Dong and D. Cai, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7EW00103G

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