Monitoring excess nitrate is one of the world’s biggest water quality challenges.
A big solution comes in a little black box.
Tech Today reports the 3-D printed box is a handheld, open source nitrate test kit developed by a Michigan Tech researcher in collaboration with a local green chemistry company.
Together, they have helped make nitrate testing more accessible, cheaper, safer and just as sensitive as current techniques.
Joshua Pearce, who has a joint appointment as an associate professor of materials science and engineering as well as electrical and computer engineering, runs an open sustainability technology lab at Michigan Tech.
Along with his students, Pearce made the handheld device with a 3-D printer and open source hardware in collaboration with the Nitrate Elimination Company.
The small machine replaces comparable devices that cost more and rely on old methods based on cadmium or zinc.
The idea is to create better tools for testing nitrate content in water and soils.