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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.40M | Year: 2008

All contaminated water, whether originating in industry, agriculture or households, causes damage to the environment and to human health. Industrial wastewater, contaminated by heavy metals, migrates to surface and underground water sources. Heavy metals are elements that have a high density and are toxic or poisonous even at low concentrations. In addition to wastewater, sewer sludge, the residual semi-solid material remaining from urban and industrial wastewater treatment processes, also contains high levels of heavy metals. Consortium members of the current METELCAD project recognize that with the advent of increasing environmental EC Directives, there is a critical need in Europe to develop a low cost, and efficient detection technology for metal contaminated wastewater to safeguard public health and reduce pollution and clean up costs. METELCAD will allow consortium SMEs to detect heavy metal presence in industrial wastewater before it is released into the environment or before it reaches the sludge stage. The commercial objective of the proposal is to develop an on-line, low maintenance, on-site, continuous monitoring technology utilizing electrolyte cathode glow discharge technique to monitor heavy metal contaminated wastewaters that are loaded with high fat emulsion. This cost-effective technology will facilitate compliance with EU environmental legislation in a business-friendly manner, facilitating industrial wastewater management. The proposed technology is also relevant to other industrial sectors including ferrous and non-ferrous metals industry.

Gruiz K.,Budapest University of Technology and Economics | Fenyvesi E.,Aqua Concorde | Muranyi A.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Anton A.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | And 8 more authors.
Construction for a Sustainable Environment - Proceedings of the International Conference of Construction for a Sustainable Environment | Year: 2010

MOKKA (2005-2008) is a Hungarian Research and Development Project with eight Hungarian and two other European participants. The project ran between 2005 and 2008, financed by the Hungarian National Research Fund. The main goal of the project was to develop missing engineering tools in support of environmental risk management of contaminants and polluted environment. The MOKKA database makes it possible to arrange all the new and existing engineering tools, mainly environmental assessment and monitoring methods and remediation technologies, into a complex user-friendly electronic database. The base of the complex information structure is formed by specific datasheets; physico-chemical, biological, toxicological assessment and monitoring methods, transport models, remediation techniques, scientific explanation sheets, lists of legislations and regulations, publications, web-site addresses and a glossary of 600 relevant keywords. © 2010 Taylor & Francis Group, London.

Bencs L.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Laczai N.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Mezei P.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Cserfalvi T.,Aqua Concorde
Spectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy | Year: 2015

An electrolyte cathode atmospheric glow discharge optical emission spectrometry (ELCAD-OES) method was developed for the detection of the industrially relevant In, Rh and Te in water samples. Acid/additive type, sample pH and flow rate were optimized. The UV-Vis spectrum was scanned for analytical lines, free from spectral overlap interferences, and sensitive enough for quantifying the analytes at mg L- 1 or lower levels. In several cases, the background spectrum of the ELCAD hindered the use of conventional, resonant analytical lines in the UV due to overlaps with bands of molecular species (e.g., OH, NO, N2). Te and Rh showed lower emission intensities than In (determined at In I 451.1 nm), even using the most sensitive, interference-free transitions (i.e., Te I 214.3 nm, Te I 238.6 nm and Rh I 437.5 nm). The emission intensities were highly sample pH dependent, i.e., analytical signals could only be detected at pH levels lower than 2. Conversely, the use of acidity lower than pH 1 caused lower plasma volume, due to its contraction into the sample introduction capillary, and discharge instability in terms of its frequent self-extinction. The detection limits for In, Rh and Te were 0.01, 0.5 and 2.4 mg L- 1, respectively. Calibration curves were linear up to 100-150 mg L- 1. The precision for In, Rh and Te in aqueous standards, expressed as relative standard deviation (RSD), was not higher than 4.6%, 6.4% and 7.4%, respectively. Samples with high salt content (e.g., well water) caused positive matrix effects (i.e., 2.0- to 3.6-fold signal enhancements), but also ∼ 1.5 times higher RSDs. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Mezei P.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Cserfalvi T.,Aqua Concorde | Hartmann P.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Bencs L.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Spectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy | Year: 2010

The intensity distribution of the Cr-I 428.97 nm resonant and 520.60 nm non-resonant lines was studied as a function of the distance from the anode in a low pressure DC-GD fitted with a Cr metal cathode and operated in various gas atmospheres, including helium (P = 4 mbar), ambient air and water vapor (P = 0.8 mbar). In the helium and ambient air atmospheres, the intensity peaks occurred in the near cathode region (cathode glow) in accordance with the literature. When operated in water vapor, however, the Cr-I 428.97 nm resonant line disappeared, whereas the intensity of the non-resonant 520.60 nm line was enhanced. This result may be attributed to resonant energy transfer collisions taking place between OH radicals excited to the first vibrational level and Cr*428 atoms excited to the z7P0 upper level of the 428.97 nm transition. The similar gas phase composition encountered with a DC electrolyte cathode atmospheric pressure glow discharge (ELCAD) and the Cr metal cathode GD operating under a low pressure of water vapor suggests that the zero intensity of the Cr resonance lines (428.97 nm, 360.53 nm) produced in the ELCAD may be attributed to similar energy transfer processes. Our results show that the intensity of the Cr-I 520.60 nm line can be used for analytical purposes in the ELCAD. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Mezei P.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Cserfalvi T.,Aqua Concorde
Sensors (Switzerland) | Year: 2012

Electrolyte Cathode Discharge (ELCAD) spectrometry, a novel sensitive multielement direct analytical method for metal traces in aqueous solutions, was introduced in 1993 as a new sensing principle. Since then several works have tried to develop an operational mechanism for this exotic atmospheric glow plasma technique, however these attempts cannot be combined into a valid model description. In this review we summarize the conceptual and technical problems we found in this upcoming research field of direct sensors. The TG gas temperature and the ne electron density values published up to now for ELCAD are very confusing. These data were evaluated by three conditions. The first is the gas composition of the ELCAD plasma, since TG was determined from the emitted intensity of the N2 and OH bands. Secondly, since the ELCAD is an atmospheric glow discharge, thus, the obtained TG has to be close to the Te electron temperature. This can be used for the mutual validation of the received temperature data. Thirdly, as a consequence of the second condition, the values of TG and ne have to agree with the Engel-Brown approximation of the Saha-equation related to weakly ionized glow discharge plasmas. Application of non-adequate experimental methods and theoretical treatment leads to unreliable descriptions which cannot be used to optimize the detector performance. © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Gyorgy K.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Bencs L.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Mezei P.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Cserfalvi T.,Aqua Concorde
Spectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy | Year: 2012

The analytical characteristics of a capillary design of the electrolyte cathode atmospheric glow discharge (ELCAD), operated with a W-rod anode at a discharge current of 70 mA and a discharge voltage of 950 V, were exploited through spatially resolved atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) experiments. For this purpose, the ELCAD cell, placed on a platform adjustable with micrometer screws, was inserted into the optical path of a commercial line-source AAS instrument. A flow injection system was developed and applied to introduce 3 mL of aqueous standards of a set of environmentally relevant metals (Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, Na, Pb and Zn) into the plasma. The analyte atom distribution along the vertical axis of the conically-shaped ELCAD plasma (height: 3.5 mm) is element specific. All the absorbance maxima are observed in the near cathode region (e.g., in the range of 0.5-1.0 mm from the cathode), while the AA signal smoothly fades towards the anode. Several spectrochemical buffers (citric acid, EDTA, chlorides of Ca, Cs, La, Li, and Na) were studied for improving the sensitivity of the AAS determinations for Cr. A significant increase in the sensitivity (20%) was found only with the addition of 0.55% (m/v) La solution. The limit of detection data for Cd, Cu, Na and Zn are 3.4, 4.2, 9.2 and 0.9 mg L - 1, respectively. The AAS calibration curves for Cd, Cu, Na and Zn are linear up to 75, 200, 100 and 25 mg L - 1, respectively. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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