269. A Smart Colorimetric Platform for Detection of Methanol, Ethanol and Formic Acid

Mizaj Shabil Sha, Muni Raj Maurya, Mithra Geetha, Bijandra Kumar, Aboubakr M. Abdullah and Kishor Kumar Sadasivuni; Sensors; (2022); DOI: 10.3390/s22020618 (open access)

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and scientists are working on converting it to useful products, thereby reducing its quantity in the atmosphere. For converting CO2, different approaches are used, and among them, electrochemistry is found to be the most common and more efficient technique. Current methods for detecting the products of electrochemical CO2 conversion are time-consuming and complex. To combat this, a simple, cost-effective colorimetric method has been developed to detect methanol, ethanol, and formic acid, which are formed electrochemically from CO2. In the present work, the highly efficient sensitive dyes were successfully established to detect these three compounds under optimized conditions. These dyes demonstrated excellent selectivity and showed no cross-reaction with other products generated in the CO2 conversion system. In the analysis using these three compounds, this strategy shows good specificity and limit of detection (LOD, ~0.03–0.06 ppm). A cost-effective and sensitive Internet of Things (IoT) colorimetric sensor prototype was developed to implement these dyes systems for practical and real-time application. Employing the dyes as sensing elements, the prototype exhibits unique red, green, and blue (RGB) values upon exposure to test solutions with a short response time of 2 s. Detection of these compounds via this new approach has been proven effective by comparing them with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). This novel approach can replace heavy-duty instruments such as high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography (G.C.), and NMR due to its extraordinary selectivity and rapidity.