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Proceedings Paper

Field Determination Of Ground Water Contamination Using Laser Fluorescence And Fiber Optics
Author(s): Wayne Chudyk; Kenneth Pohlig; Lisa Wolf; Rita Fordiani
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Paper Abstract

Experience at over sixteen sites containing over one hundred wells has shown the feasibility of using fiber optic systems for in situ measurement of aromatic ground water contaminants. Aromatic solvents, as well as the benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, and xylenes (BTEX) fraction of gasoline, have been detected using a prototype field instrument. Well depths have varied from 5 m to 30 m, and limits of detection at 10 m have been in the ppb range. We are routinely using two separate clear tefzel-coated optical fibers bound in a black teflon tubing for in situ sensing of aromatic organic ground water contaminants via laser-induced fluorescence. One fiber, the excitation fiber, carries the 266 nm, 15 nanosecond, laser pulse down to the sensor. The other fiber, used for detection, carries collected fluorescence plus scattered laser light back up to the surface to the detector. Optical crosstalk has been observed to occur along the entire length of the sensor tubing. This may be due to fiber fluorescence. The fiber crosstalk is eliminated by use of a 320 nm cutoff filter in the detector optics. Black tefzel-coated fibers are also commercially available which could eliminate this potential problem. Evaluation of fluorescence emission versus concentration using serial dilution of standards shows that fluorescence lifetimes are important when evaluating different concentrations as well as in evaluation of mixtures. Minimization of signal-to-noise ratios in the detector electronics involves tuning the gate width used in measuring the fluorescent pulse, in order to include the full fluorescent signal returning from the contaminants. Field tests of the modular prototype instrument have been successful in their demonstration of the feasibility of this new technology. Results at a variety of types of sites are presented, showing the flexibility of the modular approach used in the design and operation of this new instrument.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 February 1990
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 1172, Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Fiber Sensors, (13 February 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.963181
Show Author Affiliations
Wayne Chudyk, Tufts University (United States)
Kenneth Pohlig, Tufts University (United States)
Lisa Wolf, Tufts University (United States)
Rita Fordiani, Tufts University (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1172:
Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Fiber Sensors
Robert A. Lieberman; Marek T. Wlodarczyk, Editor(s)

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