New method to provide highly accessible water monitoring

Problem Title

New method to provide highly accessible water monitoring

Scientific Title

Foam as a passive sampling device in aquatic environments

Student: 
Walter Fernandez
Major(s): 
Environmental Science
iCons Concentration: 
Renewable Energy
iCons Class Year: 
Class of 2017
Executive Summary 

In order to protect waterways there must be an ability to monitor them. Passive water sampling is the use of sorption media to uptake contaminants present in aquatic environments. Contaminants can emerge as run-off from agricultural, pharmaceutical, and personal care products; these contaminants include endocrine disruptors, which affect the developmental and reproductive systems of humans. Due to low material and maintenance costs, passive water sampling devices can be useful for large-scale monitoring projects while being accessible to many entities. The researched conducted is for the feasibility of foam as a passive water sampling device. Foam has shown an exceptional ability to uptake contaminants, especially when compared to other low-cost sampler materials. Foam samples were allowed to equilibrate with solutions, which have fixed concentrations of target compounds and through the use of High Performance Liquid Chromatography, partition coefficients were determined to measure sorption capabilities. The acquisition of this data will allow a better understanding of how to best implement foam as a passive water sampling device.

Problem Keywords: 
water quality
Scientific Keywords: 
endocrine disruptors
passive water sampling