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Sensors 2015, 15(3), 4734-4748; doi:10.3390/s150304734

Development of an NDIR CO2 Sensor-Based System for Assessing Soil Toxicity Using Substrate-Induced Respiration

1
Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, 21111 Lakeshore Road, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
2
Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, 21111 Lakeshore Road, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
3
Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry, McGill University, 21111 Lakeshore Road, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alexander Star
Received: 22 December 2014 / Revised: 14 January 2015 / Accepted: 9 February 2015 / Published: 26 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1487 KB, uploaded 26 February 2015]   |  

Abstract

The eco-toxicological indicators used to evaluate soil quality complement the physico-chemical criteria employed in contaminated site remediation, but their cost, time, sophisticated analytical methods and in-situ inapplicability pose a major challenge to rapidly detect and map the extent of soil contamination. This paper describes a sensor-based approach for measuring potential (substrate-induced) microbial respiration in diesel-contaminated and non-contaminated soil and hence, indirectly evaluates their microbial activity. A simple CO2 sensing system was developed using an inexpensive non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) CO2 sensor and was successfully deployed to differentiate the control and diesel-contaminated soils in terms of CO2 emission after glucose addition. Also, the sensor system distinguished glucose-induced CO2 emission from sterile and control soil samples (p ≤ 0.0001). Significant effects of diesel contamination (p ≤ 0.0001) and soil type (p ≤ 0.0001) on glucose-induced CO2 emission were also found. The developed sensing system can provide in-situ evaluation of soil microbial activity, an indicator of soil quality. The system can be a promising tool for the initial screening of contaminated environmental sites to create high spatial density maps at a relatively low cost. View Full-Text
Keywords: CO2 sensor; soil toxicity; substrate-induced respiration; non-dispersive infrared; petroleum CO2 sensor; soil toxicity; substrate-induced respiration; non-dispersive infrared; petroleum
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kaur, J.; Adamchuk, V.I.; Whalen, J.K.; Ismail, A.A. Development of an NDIR CO2 Sensor-Based System for Assessing Soil Toxicity Using Substrate-Induced Respiration. Sensors 2015, 15, 4734-4748.

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