Skip Navigation

Optimized Pre-Treatment for Fluorescence Monitoring of Surface Fresh Water Contamination

student taking water sampleInstitutions: University of Maine, US Coast Guard Academy
Sponsor: Maine Water Institute (WRRI Program)

Current water monitoring techniques require collecting a sample from the field and transporting to a lab for analysis. This process can take several hours to weeks for results and is not sufficient for real time decision making. Excitation Emission Matrix(EEM) spectroscopy coupled with Parallel Factor(PARAFAC) analysis has been demonstrated to detect water borne pollutants down to the ppm level. The goal of the proposed research is to develop a streamlined version of the EPA pre-treatment method and follow it with EEM/PARAFAC to lower our detection limit to environmentally relevant concentrations. Petrochemical and pharmaceutical/personal care product(PPCP) water contamination are major concerns for human and wildlife health. Four compounds will be studied, two from each category: 17รก-ethinylestradiol (EE2- synthetic estrogen) and Bisphenol A (BPA) as well as anthracene and phenol (both fluorescent compounds in refined fuels). This study seeks to assess the fate and levels of pollutants in fresh waters and so falls under the topic entitled: contaminant transport, fate, history, effect, and remediation.

Team Members:

  • Howard Patterson, University of Maine (team leader)
  • John Ahern, University of Maine
  • Gregory Hall, US Coast Guard Academy

Back to Water Institute Research 2013