Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research


Detection of Halogenated Organics by Their Inhibitory Action in a Catalytic Reaction Between Dimethyl Acetylenedicarboxylate and 2-methyl-4-nitroaniline

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Publication Date

Summer 7-2015


The purpose of this paper is to report on the detection of toxic halogenated organic compounds in water using their inhibitory action on a pyridine-catalyzed reaction between dimethyl acetylenedicarboxylate (DMAD) and 2-methyl-4-nitroaniline (MNA). Previous work has shown that similar techniques can successfully lower the detection limit of sulfides and arsines in water samples, compared to their standard photometric detection methods. This paper highlights the optimization, selectivity, and sensitivity studies of the proposed sensing scheme. Optimization shows that the pyridine-catalyzed reaction is more favorable at 4 mM DMAD and 8 mM MNA. It was also determined that the inhibitory effect of halogenated organic compounds is more pronounced when carried out at 60°C. Using optimized reaction conditions, the limit of quantification for the four regulated trihalomethanes (THMs) was approximately 80 ppm. In addition, the sensing method is selective to THMs and a few other halogenated organics. These promising results demonstrate the further success of this technique for sensitive, selective detection, and future work will be carried out to incorporate the technique in sensing applications for THMs in drinking water.

Publication Title

Journal of Analytical Chemistry





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