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Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10840-10850; doi:10.3390/s111110840

Electrochemical Characterization of Riboflavin-Enhanced Reduction of Trinitrotoluene

1,*  and 1,2
1 United States Army Research Laboratory, RDRL-SEE-O, 2800 Powder Mill Road, Adelphi, MD 20873, USA 2 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, Saint Louis, MO 63130, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 September 2011 / Revised: 1 November 2011 / Accepted: 17 November 2011 / Published: 18 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
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There is great interest in understanding trinitrotoluene (TNT) and dinitrotoluene (DNT) contamination, detection and remediation in the environment due to TNT’s negative health effects and security implications. Numerous publications have focused on detecting TNT in groundwater using multiple techniques, including electrochemistry. The main degradation pathway of nitrotoluenes in the environment is reduction, frequently with biological and/or photolytic assistance. Riboflavin has also been noted to aid in TNT remediation in soils and groundwater when exposed to light. This report indicates that adding riboflavin to a TNT or DNT solution enhances redox currents in electrochemical experiments. Here AC voltammetry was performed and peak currents compared with and without riboflavin present. Results indicated that TNT, DNT and riboflavin could be detected using AC voltammetry on modified gold electrodes and the addition of riboflavin affected redox peaks of TNT and DNT. Poised potential experiments indicated that it is possible to enhance reduction of TNT in the presence of riboflavin and light. These results were dramatic enough to explain long term enhancement of bioremediation in environments containing high levels of riboflavin and enhance the limit of detection in electrochemically-based nitrotoluene sensing.
Keywords: trinitrotoluene; dinitrotoluene; reduction; riboflavin; bioremediation; AC voltammetry trinitrotoluene; dinitrotoluene; reduction; riboflavin; bioremediation; AC voltammetry
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Sumner, J.J.; Chu, K. Electrochemical Characterization of Riboflavin-Enhanced Reduction of Trinitrotoluene. Sensors 2011, 11, 10840-10850.

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