Award-winning membranes can now be used for field analysis
Argonne and 3M Company (St. Paul, Minn.) have completed first-stage development of a portable system that can analyze water samples for multiple analytes tens of times faster than conventional laboratory sampling methods, with analytical results equivalent to those obtained by conventional laboratory methods. The new rapid water sampling and analysis system uses the award-winning 3M EmporeTM rad disks and a unique solid-scintillation beta spectrometer, and other field detection systems are being developed. The system is rugged, simple to operate, and designed to use off-the-shelf parts.
Membranes can be shipped to fixed-based laboratories, saving the costs of shipment and storage of large numbers of water samples, or the membranes can be analyzed in the field.
Argonne and 3M have demonstrated the system under field conditions for technetium and strontium at levels commonly found in the environment (in groundwater, surface water, nuclear-fuel storage-pool water, etc.). Comparisons with standard laboratory methods showed equivalent results.
This innovative technology has won a 1996 R&D 100 Award, and its developers have won a 1997 award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for excellence in technology transfer.
Argonne's effort under the cooperative research and development agreement that created this important technical advance was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Management, Office of Science and Technology.
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