Development of a paper-based microfluidic device for the quantification of ammonia in industrial wastewater

  • Nonhlazeko Loveday Nxumalo Department of Chemistry, Durban University of Technology, PO Box 1334, Durban, 4001, South Africa
  • Lawrence Mzukisi Madikizela Department of Chemistry, Durban University of Technology, PO Box 1334, Durban, 4001, South Africa
  • Hendrik Gert Kruger Catalysis and Peptide Research Unit, School of Health Sciences, Westville campus, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4000, South Africa
  • Stanley Chibuzor Onwubu Dental Sciences, Durban University of Technology, PO Box 1334, Durban, 4001, South Africa
  • Phumlane Selby Mdluli Department of Chemistry, Durban University of Technology, PO Box 1334, Durban, 4001, South Africa
Keywords: ammonia, microfluidic device, quantification

Abstract

Ammonia is a toxic pollutant increasingly found in urban and industrial wastewater and unprotected surface water. Industry discharges and fertilizer run-off release ammonia into sewers and streams, overloading wastewater treatment plants and causing fish deaths in surface water such as rivers, sea and lakes. The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of the microfluidic paper-based device (µPAD) for the quantification of ammonia in wastewater. The µPAD fabricated had an oval-shaped pattern which was designed using CorelDraw software. The hydrophilic zones were created by printing a chromatographic paper with a Xerox wax printer (Xerox colorqube 8570). The modified version of the colorimetric method using Nessler reagent was combined with microfluidic technologies to create a low-cost monitoring system for detection of ammonia in wastewater. The method allows for ammonia determination in the range of 0–5 ppm (mg/L) with a limit of detection of 3.34 ppm. This study indicated that a µPAD was successfully used to quantify the concentration of ammonia in wastewater.

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Published
2020-07-28
Section
Research paper