Finnish researchers develop quick test kit for detecting phenolic compounds in drinking water

Clean drinking water is a diminishing natural resource in developing nations and in many industrialised countries. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a simple and inexpensive test kit that detects phenolic compounds in water. Sources of phenolic compounds…

Clean drinking water is a diminishing natural resource in developing nations and in many industrialised countries. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a simple and inexpensive test kit that detects phenolic compounds in water. Sources of phenolic compounds found in drinking water include industrial wastewaters, drug residues and pipes. Certain phenolic compounds are toxic and some may even cause cancer.

The method developed by VTT is based on a chemical reaction. A small test stick determines whether or not a water sample contains harmful phenolic compounds. If so, the stick will change colour within a few minutes. No quick, easy and inexpensive water quality test has been available until now. VTT’s test will be launched in 2 to 3 years.

High levels of phenolic compounds in water are a problem particularly in industrialised countries, where an inexpensive test kit has market potential not only in the industrial and agricultural sectors but in use by health inspectors, water utilities, and possibly even consumers.

Markets for water quality test kits are also increasing in the developing countries. Dwindling water resources, increasing water prices, inadequate sewer systems and long distances between sample sites and laboratories increase the demand for simple and inexpensive test methods which can be applied on site.
Non-degradable, toxic and ecologically unsafe, phenolic compounds in industrial wastewaters are among the most harmful. Chlorophenols, for example, are carcinogenic and affect hepatic and renal function. In industrial wastewaters, the concentration of phenolic compounds may be as high as several hundreds of milligrams per litre. The cut-off value in VTT’s test is currently 0.1 mg/l, but development of test precision continues.
Phenolic compounds are used as raw material in chemical industries for producing polymers, phenolic resins, explosives, pigments and drugs. Phenols can be found in the wastewaters of oil refineries and petrochemical, wood processing, plastics, rubber, textile, coating and leather industries.
VTT and the University of Helsinki have developed water quality test kits in collaboration with their industrial partners.

Explore further:

Novel testing device for detecting toxic blue-green algae

Provided by

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

view popular

not rated yet

Related Stories

Novel testing device for detecting toxic blue-green algae

Jun 24, 2013

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a fast and affordable testing device for detecting the presence of toxic blue-green algae in water. There is currently no fast, affordable and user-friendly way for consumers …

Chemical reaction could streamline manufacture of pharmaceuticals and other compounds

Jul 22, 2013

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered a new chemical reaction that has the potential to lower the cost and streamline the manufacture of compounds ranging from agricultural chemicals …

Papaya-clay combo could cut cost of water purification in developing countries

Jun 12, 2013

An inexpensive new material made of clay and papaya seeds removes harmful metals from water and could lower the cost of providing clean water to millions of people in the developing world, scientists are …

Antibacterial effect of phenolic compounds from peat moss and the polysaccharide chitosan

Sep 15, 2011

The polysaccharide (sugar substance) chitosan has a documented antibacterial effect. Hilde Mellegard’s doctoral research shows that this antibacterial activity varies according to the chemical composition …

Scientists reveal drinking champagne could improve memory

May 08, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—New research shows that drinking one to three glasses of champagne a week may counteract the memory loss associated with ageing, and could help delay the onset of degenerative brain disorders, …

New insights into how natural antioxidants fight fat

Nov 05, 2007

Scientists in Taiwan are reporting new insights into why diets rich in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of obesity. Their study, scheduled for the Oct. 17 (current) issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural an …

Recommended for you

Jekyll and Hyde: motion may explain similar enzymes’ divergence

2 hours ago

One enzyme regulates the body’s insulin receptor, ensuring energy needed for function and survival. The other enables a bacterium to wreak havoc in the form of bubonic plague.

Sticking power of plant polyphenols used in new coatings

6 hours ago

A simple kitchen sink experiment helped Northwestern University researchers discover that green tea leaves not only can be used to steep a good cup of tea, but they make an excellent antibacterial coating, too.

Chemistry textbook is a recipe collection for future pharma

8 hours ago

Pharmaceuticals of the future will be fashioned using the human body’s own chemical substances, proteins and peptides. And now, University of Copenhagen chemists have published the ultimate DIY book for laboratory chemists …

10 hours ago

Clean drinking water is a diminishing natural resource in developing nations and in many industrialised countries. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a simple and inexpensive test kit …

Lab-made complexes are ‘sun sponges’

Aug 21, 2013

In diagrams it looks like a confection of self-curling ribbon with bits of bling hung off the ribbon here and there. In fact it is a carefully designed ring of proteins with attached pigments that self-assembles …

Miniature pump: Polymer gel continuously responds to fleeting stimuli

Aug 21, 2013

(Phys.org) —Miniaturization is constantly on the march. For example, we now have entire analytical and diagnostic systems that can take place on a chip. These systems require miniaturized versions of macroscopic …

User comments : 0

More news stories

Sticking power of plant polyphenols used in new coatings

A simple kitchen sink experiment helped Northwestern University researchers discover that green tea leaves not only can be used to steep a good cup of tea, but they make an excellent antibacterial coating, too.

Jekyll and Hyde: motion may explain similar enzymes’ divergence

One enzyme regulates the body’s insulin receptor, ensuring energy needed for function and survival. The other enables a bacterium to wreak havoc in the form of bubonic plague.

Chemistry textbook is a recipe collection for future pharma

Pharmaceuticals of the future will be fashioned using the human body’s own chemical substances, proteins and peptides. And now, University of Copenhagen chemists have published the ultimate DIY book for laboratory chemists …

‘Poisoning’ corrosion brings stainless magnesium closer

(Phys.org) —In a discovery that could have major implications for the aerospace, automotive and electronics industries, scientists have found a way to dramatically reduce the corrosion rate of lightweight …

Formula for the perfect cheese on toast revealed

The Royal Society of Chemistry, together with the British Cheese Board, has today announced the formula for making the perfect slice of cheese on toast.

Toxic nanoparticles might be entering human food supply, study finds

Over the last few years, the use of nanomaterials for water treatment, food packaging, pesticides, cosmetics and other industries has increased. For example, farmers have used silver nanoparticles as a pesticide …

Team creates cells that line blood vessels

In a scientific first, Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists have successfully grown the cells that line the blood vessels—called vascular endothelial cells—from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), revealing …

Tomb find confirms powerful women ruled Peru long ago

The discovery in Peru of another tomb belonging to a pre-Hispanic priestess, the eighth in more than two decades, confirms that powerful women ruled this region 1,200 years ago, archeologists said.

Researchers use mobile phones to measure happiness

Researchers at Princeton University are developing ways to use mobile phones to explore how one’s environment influences one’s sense of well-being.

Review: Haswell laptops deliver on long battery

Just in time for the back-to-school season, new laptops with extended battery life are hitting store shelves.