Electrochemical Sensing System for Detection of Tricresyl Phosphate (TCP) in Aqueous Solution and Air

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
West Hall 1 (Phoenix Convention Center)


The analysis of the air quality in commercial airliners suggests that there is a risk of cabin air contamination with tricresyl phosphate (TCP), which is an anti-wear additive in jet engine oils. TCP is an organophosphate that inhibits vital enzymes, and induces an organophosphorus-induced delayed neuropathy (OPIDN). Large size and high cost complex techniques for TCP detection include gas chromatography, photometric detector, mass spectrometric recognition, and are impractical in an aircraft. The development of a portable TCP sensing device would rely on employing electrochemical methods due to their time and cost effectiveness and possibility to integrate them into a portable device. TCP is not electroactive, and gas samples of TCP are not readily available, thereby electrochemical sensing is accomplished via detecting the products of TCP hydrolysis, cresols. Besides commercially obtained TCP, cresol detection in jet engine oils has been performed. The challenging part of the amperometric detection of such phenolic compounds as cresols is fouling of the working glassy carbon electrode; this can be resolved by electrode modification with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-poly(styrenesulphonate) PEDOT:PSS. Currently, microfluidic devices are potentially important detection systems in environmental monitoring with reduced cost, portability and increase analysis speed. Our goal is to develop a microfluidic based electrochemical system that can provide rapid and reliable determination of TCP in trace levels.