Development of a Chemosensor for the In Situ Monitoring of Thallium in the Water Network
Thallium is an emerging contaminant, which can be retained in scale encrustation within the pipeline and then released to drinking water. It is included in the Priority Pollutant List of the U.S. EPA. In this study, a sample from the water pipeline of Pietrasanta (Italy), affected by the contamination of thallium, is characterized by SEM-EDS, TGA, and FT-IR. Fluorescence spectroscopy is then proposed as the optimal technique for the detection of the contaminant. The functionality of a previously reported fluorescent calixarene-based chemosensor is verified first on a standard solution of thallium nitrate and then on the sample under investigation. The quenching of the fluorescence of the sensor during the complexation of thallium is confirmed, identifying an ON-OFF sensor with high sensitivity, able to detect concentrations as low as 10−6 M and with high potential of development for the in situ and fast monitoring of the pollutant in the water network.
KeywordsThallium Water contamination Chemosensor Fluorescence
The study is financially supported by Autorità Idrica Toscana (Florence, Italy).
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