Modern Water collaborated with a team on an ongoing water monitoring project in Chernobyl, Ukraine, to improve the measurement of total Fe in groundwater samples. To measure total Fe in water samples, samples must be stabilized by acidifying or by adding an adequate complexing agent. The addition of acid is more practical to stabilize the sample.

Professor Yoko Fujikawa of Kyoto University recently presented at the Japan Society on Water Environment 2023 conference in Matsuyama, outlining the 2022 fall sampling campaign in Chernobyl and developing a highly sensitive method for Fe analysis using portable MicroTrace PDV equipment supplied by Modern Water.

The project requires low-level Fe analysis of acidified groundwater samples due to the impact of colloidal Fe on the migration of radioactive Cs-137. However, radioactive contamination makes traditional atomic spectroscopy methods unsafe and thus impractical for this application.

The new method, which directly measured Fe down to sub ppb levels in nitric acid acidified leachate from a Japanese landfill site used as a test solution, uses cathodic stripping voltammetry (CSV) on an Au – Hg amalgam wire electrode with the MicroTrace PDV instrument. Previously published methods using CSV on this kind of electrode required the sample pH to be alkaline and use reagents that need to be purified before use, or to add a high concentration of Hg in the sample solution to maintain the analytical sensitivity, so were not suitable for field monitoring of acidified samples. The new method delivered excellent correlation with ICP-MS results of the same samples, with faster throughput times.

This project is a collaboration of universities and companies from Ukraine, Japan, and Sweden, funded by the Japanese government’s KAKHENI fund for scientific research. Modern Water is proud to support their important work.

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