Increased Sensitivity for Lead Detection in Drinking Water Using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

Hamline University, St. Paul, MN

Hamline University, St. Paul, MN team photo
This research focuses on lead contaminated drinking water in the household through the design and development of a lead detector. We consider our project to be an “intermediate” step to resolving the issue of lead contaminants in drinking water. Upon success, we anticipate that our detection method will spot low levels of lead in drinking water to alert homeowners so they may act earlier to prevent high lead concentration in people, especially children.

The student team consists of eight undergraduate students: Samantha Coffler (Biochemistry), Sideena Grace (Applied Physics), Sydney McCutchen (Applied Physics), Raphael Morales-Balbuena (Chemistry), Josh Sedarski (Physics), Maddie Sowinski(Applied Physics), Alex Walsh (Chemistry Education), and Kyle Wendorf (Applied Physics).

EPA P3 Video Presentation

Poster (click to open a full size image): 
Increased Sensitivity for Lead Detection in Drinking Water Using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy poster

This research focuses on lead contaminated drinking water in the household through the design and development of a lead detector. We consider our project to be an “intermediate” step to resolving the issue of lead contaminants in drinking water. Upon success, we anticipate that our detection method will spot low levels of lead in drinking water to alert homeowners so they may act earlier to prevent high lead concentration in humans, especially children. Technical challenges include making this service accessible to the communities that need repeated lead level monitoring, making this service sustainable with regard to the use of chemistry and waste generated from the tests, and accurate and consistent determination of lead concentration.