In Situ Optimization of pH for Parts-Per-Billion Electrochemical Detection of Dissolved Hydrogen Sulfide Using Boron Doped Diamond Flow Electrodes.

Analytical chemistry

PubMedID: 25263331

Bitziou E, Joseph MB, Read TL, Palmer N, Mollart T, Newton ME, Macpherson JV. In Situ Optimization of pH for Parts-Per-Billion Electrochemical Detection of Dissolved Hydrogen Sulfide Using Boron Doped Diamond Flow Electrodes. Anal Chem. 2014;.
A novel electrochemical approach to the direct detection of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), in aqueous solutions, covering a wide pH range (acid to alkali), is described. In brief, a dual band electrode device is employed, in a hydrodynamic flow cell, where the upstream electrode is used to controllably generate hydroxide ions (OH(-)), which flood the downstream detector electrode and provide the correct pH environment for complete conversion of H2S to the electrochemically detectable, sulfide (HS(-)) ion. All-diamond, coplanar conducting diamond band electrodes, insulated in diamond, were used due to their exceptional stability and robustness when applying extreme potentials, essential attributes for both local OH(-) generation via the reduction of water, and for in situ cleaning of the electrode, post oxidation of sulfide. Using a galvanostatic approach, it was demonstrated the pH locally could be modified by over five pH units, depending on the initial pH of the mobile phase and the applied current. Electrochemical detection limits of 13.6 ppb sulfide were achieved using flow injection amperometry. This approach which offers local control of the pH of the detector electrode in a solution, which is far from ideal for optimized detection of the analyte of interest, enhances the capabilities of online electrochemical detection systems.