2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 27 Jul 2005 00:03:54 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Field-based perchlorate measurement
NDCEE Demonstrates a Field-Based Perchlorate Measurement Instrument 

National Defense Center for Environmental Excellence (NDCEE) Newsletter
Winter 2005

During August and September 2004, the NDCEE successfully completed a
demonstration of a field-deployable prototype instrument that measures
perchlorate concentrations in water. Field demonstrations were held at
Edwards Air Force Base and Rialto, California, using
perchlorate-contaminated groundwater samples. Demonstration results
indicate that the instrument offers advantages over U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) Method 314: it uses less expensive components,
can be hand-portable for on-site testing, produces faster results, has a
potentially lower detection limit, and is less prone to interference in
high-salinity samples. Based on these results, the DoD has expressed an
interest in the technology to aid with perchlorate-related surveys and
monitoring activities that are in progress at several DoD installations. 

Perchlorate is a primary ingredient in solid fuel missile and rocket
propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics and has been identified by the
EPA as potentially harmful to human health. In October 2003, the DoD
established a policy regarding measurement and monitoring for
perchlorate contamination at DoD installations. The Air Force has been
designated as the DoD lead for perchlorate issues, with assistance from
the DoD Perchlorate Working Group, the Naval Facilities Engineering
Command, and the Army Environmental Center. 

The technology uses ion chromatography in conjunction with an ion
selective electrode (ISE). During the demonstration, approximately 45
electrodes were tested and a detection limit of 10 parts per billion was
obtained. Furthermore, the technology produced results within five
minutes compared to the 20 minutes needed for EPA Method 314. In
addition, data obtained from the analysis of the groundwater samples
containing high concentrations of perchlorate showed good correlation
with data from a commercial laboratory that used EPA Method 314, which
is the accepted standard for laboratory perchlorate analysis. 

The NDCEE is helping the DoD to identify a commercialization partner for
this technology. To better meet DoD needs, future modifications to the
prototype may include reducing the weight and volume of the device,
which would improve its portability, and modifying the pH of the mobile
phase by mixing a pH-modifying buffer into the flow stream that is
between the ion chromatography and ISE. Other areas that require
modification include improving electrode stability, making reproducible
ISEs, improving the calibration method, and establishing a verifiable
way to measure a wide range of perchlorate concentrations. 

For more information on the perchlorate monitor, please contact: 
Hany Zaghloul <hany.h.zaghloul@erdc.usace.army.mil>
Bill Tumblin, NDCEE<tumblinw@ctc.com> 

To download the NDCEE newsletter as a PDF file, go to 
and click on the Winter 2005 edition of the newsletter.    


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918
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