Sunday, August 1, 2010

No. 120: Portable instrument to detect heavy-metal pollution of soil (August 2, 2010)

Horiba, Ltd., one of Japan’s leading accurate measuring instrument makers, has developed a small portable instrument to detect accurately heavy-metal pollution of soil in five minutes in collaboration with a professor of Keio University. This portable instrument eliminates the necessity to send a sample to a laboratory. Using a high sensitive diamond electrode, it can measure the concentration of heavy metals, such as copper, cadmium, and zinc. The trial model can measure a concentration of several ppms in five minutes. A concentration that is one thousandth of ppm can be detected should the sample be condensed. The new technology can be applied to examine pollution of foods and effluent of semiconductor plants. Sample shipment will start within the year. Weighing about 15 kg, it is as small as a coffee machine. The price is scheduled to be less than 3 million yen, less than one twentieth of the price of the existing instruments of this kind.

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