Browse Publications Technical Papers 2003-01-2554

A Microfluidic Ion Analyzer 2003-01-2554

Most monitored impurities in drinking water are inorganic ions for which ion chromatography is the state-of-the-art monitoring method. This technology is unsuitable for spaceflight since it requires reagents and bulky instruments. Regenerative life support instrumentation should be small, consume little power and minimal or no reagents, and be compatible with microgravity. Our reagentless, hand-held ion analyzer analyzes multiple cations and anions, including ammonium and nitrate. This microfluidic ion chromatograph has already demonstrated detection of ammonium ions at 0.5 ppm. In addition, we demonstrated an electrochemical cell used as a motorless high-pressure pump. The stackable components were made of lightweight polymeric materials and designed to minimize the size and weight of the system. We have demonstrated potential solutions for fluid management and sample handling in microengineered formats that have a broad impact.


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