Recently, an important progress has been made in detection of inorganic arsenic pollution in environment using micro/nano- electrochemistry method by the research group led by Prof. Jinhuai Liu and Prof. Xingjiu Huang , CAS Hundred Talents Program fellow, from research center for biomimetic functional materials and sensing devices, Institute of Intelligent Machines, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Arsenic, as a notorious poison and one of the world’s greatest environmental hazards, has drawn considerable attention. There is no doubt that groundwater Arsenic contamination is now regarded as an alarming environmental crisis in scores of regions and countries and it has been described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the Most Extensive Damage in Human History. Compared with traditional methods, electrochemical techniques offer great promise for detecting or monitoring of arsenic because of their excellent advantages of high sensitivity, its easy-to-accomplish steps and low cost. In recent years, the researchers devoted to explore new methods for monitoring inorganic arsenic using nano-materials. Based on comprehensively investigation, they reviewed the electrochemical voltammetry on the detection of inorganic arsenic (As(III), As(V)). And, potential obstacles, future development and applications based on electrochemical techniques were proposed on the chemically modified electrodes. These results have been published in Trends in Analytical Chemistry, one of the top review journal of analytical chemistry (TrAC Trends Anal. Chem. 2014, 62, 25).
Inner Mongolia, northern of China, was first raised in 1991 as one endemic area of severe arsenicosis. This arsenicosis area is mainly located in Huhhot basin, where the groundwater is rich in natural arsenic. More than 600000 residents in five cities and 678 villages are potentially under influence, while more than 3000 residents have been diagnosed with arsenicosis. The researchers from IIM demonstrated an electrochemical protocol for robust (efficient and accurate) determination of As(III) in Togtoh water samples using Au microwire electrode without the need of pretreatment or clean-up steps. Considering the complicated conditions of Togtoh water, the efficiency of Au microwire electrode was systematically evaluated by a series of interference tests, stability and reproducibility measurements. No obvious interference on the determination of As(III) was observed. Especially, the influence of humic acid (HA) was intensively investigated. Electrode stability was also observed with long-term measurements (70 days) in Togtoh water solution and under different temperatures (0-35℃). Excellent reproducibility (RSD:1.28%) was observed from different batches of Au microwire electrodes. These evaluations (efficiency, robustness, and accuracy) demonstrated that the Au microwire electrode was able to determine As(III) in application to real environmental samples. These results have been pulished in Journal of Hazardous Materials（J. Hazard. Mater. 2014, 278, 66）.
This researches were supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (2011CB933700) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (61102013 and 21073197), CAS Hundred Talents Program of China.