The institute
FEMTO's news

You are here

An innovative solution to detect pollutants in the subsoil

Researchers from FEMTO-STinstitute and the company TOTAL SA have succeeded in detecting organic pollutants with methods that did not require sampling and have been able to monitor the evolution of the pollution of the subsoil over periods ranging up to several years.

This challenge was made possible thanks to the development of autonomous and wireless sensors capable of detecting hydrogen sulfide through a layer of sand. These results have just been published in the journal ACS Sensors.

 Soil pollution, especially in basements, is a major environmental issue. This problem is very significant in areas that have been occupied for years by human activities, particularly for industrial sites. Numerous standards have been put in place to fight against this scourge, which can have consequences on groundwater  and on the reuse of this land for new activities (construction, agricultural land, etc.).

The main challenge in monitoring basement pollution is to observe over long periods, up to several years, the evolution of pollution in the in the subsoil. The current principle is based on sampling at regular intervals via a triptych of field sampling-extraction-analysis. This strategy is effective in terms of analysis (detection threshold, composition, etc.) but is time-consuming and costly.

As part of a collaborative research project undertaken with funding from the French National Research Agency (UNDERGROUND project ANR-17-CE24-0037), researchers from the FEMTO-ST Institute (CNRS/Université de Franche-Comté/École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et des Microtechnologies de Besançon) and the company TOTAL SA have developed a new generation of sensors which can detect a very harmful pollutant, hydrogen sulphide, H2S, through a layer of sand. For this purpose, they have developed on the one hand wireless elastic wave sensors sensitive to H2S and on the other hand they have optimized the interrogation system to be able to follow the pollution of the subsoil through a layer of sand.

The starting point for this study is the use of sensors using surface elastic waves (SAW) because these transducers are passive and can be interrogated wirelessly: they do not require a local power source to operate and they can be interrogated remotely by a radio wave. They are therefore ideal for use underground. In addition, ground penetrating RADAR (GPR) is known to be a powerful tool for the geological analysis of subsoils. However, the performance of this type of GPR is not adapted to detect chemical species. Thus, researchers at the FEMTO-ST Institute, specialists in electronics and time-frequency, have modified a commercial GPR to give it the ability to interrogate SAW sensors.  In parallel, chemists at FEMTO-ST have developed a coordination polymer whose mechanical properties are modified by a specific reaction with H2S, thus enabling H2S detection by surface acoustic waves (SAW). This polymer is also compatible with collective manufacturing processes used in the MIMENTO clean room of FEMTO-ST (RENATECH national network).

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acssensors.0c00013

Contacts :
Frédéric Chérioux
Jean-Michel Friedt

 

  • The fastest pick-and-place robot in the world

    A research team has developed a miniature robot capable of manipulating micrometric objects at unprecedented speeds. This work has been published in the prestigious American journal "Science Robotics"

    Read more
  • Aude Bolopion receives the 2022 “Big-in-Small award”

    This yearly award, from the microrobotics international community in the MARSS conference in Toronto, promotes “the best microrobotician” of the year at the international level.

    Read more
  • FEMTO-ST : 2 full professors appointed to the IUF in its class 2022

    Ausrine MARGUERON-BARTASYTE and Daniel HISSEL are among the 164  national laureates appointed to the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF) by the Minister of Higher Education and Research

    Read more
  • Tribute to our colleague Philippe LUTZ

    Our scientific community of Burgundy-Franche-Comté has just suddenly lost Philippe LUTZ, full professor at the University of Franche-Comté and a leading figure in microrobotics and micromechatronics research at the FEMTO-ST laboratory.

    Read more
  • How to create a chemical bond with light?

    The formation of a chemical bond between two molecules often requires an activation process. Light is a stimulus that is particularly interesting

    Read more
  • Best student paper Award for Clément Carlé at the international conférence IFCS-EFTF2022

    This award was obtained in the "Microwave Frequency Standards" category of this major international conference in the field of time-frequency metrology, which took place in Paris from 24 to 28 April 2022.

    Read more
  • Daniel BRUNNER winner of an ERC Consolidator grant 2021

    Daniel BRUNNER is a CNRS researcher at the FEMTO-ST Institute and has been awarded a prestigious European Research Council Cosolidator Grant of 2M € for his INSPIRE project

    Read more
  • Daniel HISSEL awarded as « Fellow » of the IEEE society

    Professor in Electrical Engineering at the University of Franche-Comté and researcher at FEMTO-ST, Daniel Hissel has been awarded as  for his work on hydrogen systems.

    Read more
  • March 8, International Women's Day

    "Freedom, like Science, and Women's Rights, are fundamental issues for Humanity."

    FEMTO-ST chooses to display on this day of March 8 (also charged with the serious news of the war in Ukraine), its commitment to each of these three issues.

    Read more
  • First experimental observation of the roton effect in metamaterials

    Experiments conducted jointly by FEMTO-ST and KIT demonstrate the control of forward and backward wave propagation by adjusting the frequency.

    Read more

Pages