New Sensor Can Test Instantly for Lead in Water

A new sensor developed by engineer Junhong Chen and UW-Milwaukee makes it possible to build handheld devices that immediately test for lead in water.

Mechanical engineer Junhong Chen and a team at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have developed a way to test for lead in tap water using a handheld device.

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), they designed a sensor with a graphene-based nanomaterial that can immediately detect lead and other heavy metals.

The platform technology features small sensors which also can be integrated into water meters and purifiers with the goal of continuous monitoring to prevent exposure to lead that could be introduced between a water treatment plant and a home.

The team is now working with manufacturers, including A. O. Smith Corp., Badger Meter Inc., Baker Manufacturing Company LLC and NanoAffix Science LLC to put the sensors into use.

In addition to real-time detection and continuous monitoring, this lead sensor system is a low-cost way to mitigate lead contamination in water.

For more information, visit NSF.


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