Electroanalytical overview: the electroanalytical sensing of hydrazine
In this overview, we explore the electroanalytical sensing of the important chemical reagent hydrazine, highlighting the plethora of electrochemical sensing strategies utilised from the first reports in 1951 to the present day. It is observed that a large proportion of the work developing electrochemical sensors for hydrazine focus on the use of metallic nanoparticles and some other surface modifications, although we note that the advantages of such strategies are often not reported. The use of nanoparticle-modified electrodes to this end is explored thoroughly, indicating that they allow the same electrochemical response as that of a macroelectrode made of the same material, with clear cost advantages. It is recommended that significant studies exploring the surface coverage/number of nanoparticles are performed to optimise electroanalytical devices and ensure that thin-layer effects are not producing false observations through electrocatalysis. Development of these sensor platforms has begun to transition away from classical macroelectrodes, toward more mass producible supporting electrodes such as screen-printed and inkjet-printed electrodes. We suggest significant advances in this area are still to be found. The vast majority of developed electroanalytical sensors for hydrazine are tested in aqueous based environments, such as tap, river and industrial effluent waters. There is significant scope for development of hydrazine sensors for gaseous environments and biologically relevant samples such as blood, serum and urine, aiming to produce sensors for accurate occupational exposure monitoring. Finally, we suggest that the levels of publications with independent validation of hydrazine concentrations with other well-established laboratory-based measurements is lacking. We believe that improving in these areas will lead to the development of significant commercial products for the electroanalytical detection of hydrazine.