HNSE-P3-2. Electrochemical Detection of Environmental Contaminants

Karen Gonzalez1
Vivian Flaum1
Dustyn Weber1
Faculty Mentor: Cory A. Rusinek, Ph.D.1
1College of Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Due to industrialization and globalization in the late centuries, environments have become increasingly compromised by pollutants. Heavy metals are a common environmental pollutant; they refer to a naturally occurring element having a high atomic weight and high density. Heavy metals, such as lead (Pb), tend to be toxic and present in trace amounts. Pb is a naturally occurring element that can affect virtually every function in the human body upon exposure, including severe damage to the kidneys and nervous system[2]. Interest in detecting lead (Pb2+) in water samples has risen in recent years due to several incidents of community-wide exposure around the world. Cloud point extraction (CPE) is a green chemistry technique used to extract and preconcentrate metals. Limited reports exist coupling CPE to anodic stripping voltammetry (ASV), an electrochemical method that can be used for trace detection of a variety of toxic metals. ASV is an inexpensive and easy to miniaturize technique that can achieve detection limits in the picomolar (10-10 M) range. In this work, Pb2+ was extracted by CPE and analyzed by ASV. The CPE matrix yielded a 38x increase in sensitivity over a traditional acetate buffer matrix with a 1-minute deposition time. The limit of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) were 0.660 and 2.201 ppb, respectively, using CPE. Utilizing acetate buffer at pH 4.65, the LOD and LOQ were 3.202 and 10.670 ppb. Thus, the CPE yielded a 5x improvement in the LOD and LOQ. Overall, this method further exemplifies the wide applicability of electroanalytical methods.

This research was funded by UNLV’s Title III Part F Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) program, which is housed within UNLV’s Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach and funded under grant (P382B160008) from the U.S. Department of Education.


Nov 15 - 19 2021


All Day


HNSE: Poster Session 3
The Office of Undergraduate Research


The Office of Undergraduate Research


2 Replies to “HNSE-P3-2. Electrochemical Detection of Environmental Contaminants”

  1. Great presentation! Research on lead is so important, so I’m glad that you were able to get involved with this project. I learned a lot from your poster.

  2. Hello everyone! Please feel free to ask any questions, or give feedback, anything is much appreciated. Thank you very much for taking the time to watch my poster presentation.

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