| A two year research program is proposed to develop a novel electrochemical sensor based on boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrode for monitoring/controlling heavy metal ions such as Hg, Zn, Cu, Pb, As, Cd, Fe) encountered in the processing and utilization of coals. This research is based on our very promising initial results in which ppb levels of Pb and Hg have been detected in laboratory prepared solutions. It is argued that the BDD electrodes are superior to other commonly used electrodes (such as glassy carbon) in terms of their ruggedness, chemical stability, wide potential window and lower background current. These advantages are important for the simultaneous detection of a number of elements in some solution.
The proposed investigations will include: (i) Development of the calibration curves for different elements using laboratory prepared solutions; (ii) Testing of samples obtained from a coal preparation plant and an acid mine drainage site and validation of the method employing other analytical techniques; and (iii) Development of a portable unit for on-site detection. The project will benefit from the collaborations provided by the Consolidation Coal Co. (letter attached) and Prof. Fujishima of the University of Tokyo where the BDD electrodes are synthesized. Sufficient facilities and expertise are available in our laboratory at WVU to immediately initiate this project.