Titanium Dioxide-Based DGT Technique for In Situ Measurement of Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus in Fresh and Marine Waters
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A new diffusive gradients in a thin film (DGT) technique for measuring dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) in fresh and marine waters is reported. The new method, which uses a commercially available titanium dioxide based adsorbent (Metsorb), was evaluated and compared to the well-established ferrihydrite-DGT method (ferrihydrite cast within the polyacrylamide gel). DGT time-series experiments showed that the mass of DRP accumulated by Metsorb and ferrihydrite was linear with time when deployed in simple solutions. Both DGT methods showed predictable uptake across the pH (4.0-8.3) and ionic strength (0.0001-1 mol L-1 NaNO3) ranges investigated, and the total capacity of the Metsorb binding phase (~40 000 ng P) was 2.5-5 times higher than the reported total capacity of the ferrihydrite binding phase. The measurement of DRP in synthetic freshwater and synthetic seawater by Metsorb-DGT over a 4 day deployment period showed excellent agreement with the concentration of DRP measured directly in solution, whereas the ferrihydrite-DGT method significantly underestimated (23-30%) the DRP concentration in synthetic seawater for deployment times of two days or more. Field deployments of Metsorb-DGT samplers with various diffusive layer thicknesses allowed accurate measurement of both the diffusive boundary layer thickness and DRP concentration in situ. The Metsorb- DGT method performs similarly to ferrihydrite-DGT for freshwater measurements but is shown to be more accurate than the ferrihydrite method for determining DRP in seawater.
Environmental Science & Technology
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