Development of In-Situ sensors for Nutrients in Marine Waters

In particular, I focussed on the development, improvement, and deployment of autonomous analysers for on-site monitoring of nutrients that have shown promise for further application in field monitoring either on shore or in the water column (in-situ).Macronutrients include nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, and silicic acid. These macronutrients are important for primary production, and silicic acid is essential for the hard tissue of siliceous phytoplankton (e.g., diatoms). The importance of macronutrients for photosynthesis means that their supply rates have major implications for the functioning of phytoplankton communities, which are considered an carbon dioxide sink in the ocean. The analysis of macronutrients is still more difficult than physical parameters such as salinity and temperature or dissolved oxygen. In addition, analysis of macronutrients in a complex matrix such as seawater can be challenging because their concentrations are typically low, in the range from nanomolar to micromolar. This thesis reports on the development of an electrochemical approach for the determination of orthophosphate in estuarine and seawater, reporting the initial investigations of our technique with a further application in an automated analyser which uses a bipotentiostat approach to enhance data quality. In addition, the improvement of on-site determination of macronutrients with a long-term application in estuarine and coastal water is reported.



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