Real-Time Water Quality Monitoring with Chemical Sensors
Water quality is one of the most critical indicators of environmental pollution and it affects all of us. Water contamination can be accidental or intentional and the consequences are drastic unless the appropriate measures are adopted on the spot. This review provides a critical assessment of the applicability of various technologies for real-time water quality monitoring, focusing on those that have been reportedly tested in real-life scenarios. Specifically, the performance of sensors based on molecularly imprinted polymers is evaluated in detail, also giving insights into their principle of operation, stability in real on-site applications and mass production options. Such characteristics as sensing range and limit of detection are given for the most promising systems, that were verified outside of laboratory conditions. Then, novel trends of using microwave spectroscopy and chemical materials integration for achieving a higher sensitivity to and selectivity of pollutants in water are described.