Selected Topics in Water Quality Analysis: Mercury and Polar Organics Monitoring 911437

Space Station Freedom presents challenges in water contamination and in the preconcentration of trace contaminants for subsequent analysis. Terrestrial methodologies for the trace level determination of mercury, alcohols, and phenols have been evaluated against levels of detection, complexity, and phase separation requirements. Microgravity compatible modifications of standard methods have been developed and tested. A total mercury sensor, employing solid phase sorption of mercury metal from the analyte followed by determination at a gold film electrode, has been breadboarded and shows a minimum level of detection of less than 0.5ppb. The system uses sodium borohydride as a reagent to facilitate mercury reduction and the decomposition of organomercury compounds. Phenols are determined using a modification of the VOC methodology previously described followed by GC/MS analysis; detection levels below 1ppb have been achieved. Short chain aliphatic alcohols are determined using GC/MS on 2μl samples injected directly on a DB624 column, with detection levels below 500 ppb.


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