State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007OH49B
Title: Nanoscale Modification and Functionalization of Carbon Electrodes for the Detection of Harmful Organic Chemicals in Water such as Phenol and Domoic Acid
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 9/01/2007
End Date: 8/31/2008
Congressional District: 1,2
Focus Categories: Water Quality, Water Supply, Toxic Substances
Keywords: Cyanotoxins; Detection, Domoic Acid, Electrode, Environmental Health, Monitoring, Nanostructure, Nanotechnology, Phenol, Sensor, Toxins
Principal Investigators: Dionysiou, Dionysios; Lunsford, Suzanne
Federal Funds: $ 27,174
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 54,405
Abstract: The presence of harmful organic chemicals produced by human activities and naturally occurring biological toxins released from microorganisms (including phenol) in our drinking water and domoic acid in ecosystems is a serious threat to human and environmental health due to their carcinogenic and lethal properties. As a result, in parallel with the effective treatment of the toxic water contaminants (toxins), there is an urgent need to develop more innovative and effective in-situ measurement methods to detect such toxins of interest in water, and thus assess their environmental fate and distribution in water bodies and ecosystems. In this proposal, we investigate novel ideas to synthesize and evaluate nanostructured electrodes to detect phenol and domoic acid. Typical carbon electrodes are modified with nanostructured TiO2 with a tailor-designed porous structure for facilitating adsorption of the target compound of interest and further functionalized with chitosan-tyrosinase composite film, enhancing the selectivity and sensitivity of the electrode towards phenol and domoic acid. The nanostructured TiO2 chitosan-tyrosinase modified carbon electrode is able to easily monitor the compounds in-situ using electrochemical instrumentation. The electrode developed here should meet the profitable features of electrode including quantitative and qualitative detection, sensitivity, mechanical stability, physical rigidity, and enhanced catalytic properties. The study is a collaborative, multidisciplinary effort between Dr. Dionysios Dionysiou with expertise in environmental chemistry and nanoscale science (Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Cincinnati) and Dr. Suzanne Lunsford with expertise in electrochemistry and sensing (Chemistry, Wright State University). We anticipate this new electrode could be used in several chemical sensor applications for environmental and biological molecules of interest in water.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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