In-field real time phosphate monitoring system for algal bloom prevention

The increase in population and associated contamination of surface and/or ground water with phosphates, nitrates, and heavy metals has resulted in scarcity of clean water in many cities around the world. Phosphate is a major pollutant responsible for the global algal bloom in various water bodies like lakes and ponds. The project focuses on developing a solid-state electrochemical phosphate sensor that can be used as a tool to predict and prevent algal blooms. The sensing system will consist of two electrodes: the phosphate sensing electrode (e.g. metal based sensor) and a reference electrode. Electrochemical sensors have many advantages over the widely used conventional colorimetric sensors. They have minimal or no chemical requirements, show less interference from turbidity, are easy to fabricate and are cost effective. Current electrochemical sensors for phosphate sensing are mainly dominated by metal based potentiometric sensors. However, metal-based sensors have a few critical shortcomings such as limited measuring range (10-1M to 10-5M)[1], single use, and inability to mass manufacture, which limits their application in environmental applications[2], [3]. The project will extend the sensor range to 10-1M to 10-7M which is critical for measuring phosphate in the environment, improve sensor reusability and develop a mass manufacturing process.

Faculty Supervisor:

Ravi Selvaganapathy


Vinay Patel


I-INC Foundation for Business Development


Engineering - biomedical


Professional, scientific and technical services


McMaster University



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