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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 20 (2015) pp 39-41

Differential Pulse Voltammetry: A Versatile Approach to Detection of Phenol-A Common Ecosystem Contaminant

Corrie Spradlin, Mary Sullivan, Stamatina Tolias†,‡, and Suzanne Lunsford*,†

Department of Chemistry, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio,;Carroll High School, 4524 Linden Avenue, Dayton ,Ohio
Received December 23, 2014. Accepted February 5, 2015.

Published: 20 February 2015

Abstract. Differential Pulse Voltammetry (DPV) was utilized in this lab experiment to detect phenol with a carbon electrode modified with polyeugenol and compared to a bare carbon electrode in acidic and basic conditions. The peak potentials for phenol detection were dependent on the pH value of the phenol solution was found. In Differential Pulse Voltammetry (DPV) a rectangular pulse potential is applied and the current is measured shortly before the pulse and measured at the end of the pulse. A highly sensitive electrochemical technique DPV was used for getting insights about the detection of phenol in acidic versus basic conditions. The design of the experiment has required our undergraduate students to verify that they have grown the polyeugenol by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). Students were required to make band assignments for FTIR spectra in order to confirm the growth of the polymer polyeugenol. This lab has been found to be rewarding for our students, which has required learning new instrumental technique such as DPV and FTIR.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; analytical chemistry; phenol; electrochemical oxidation; differential pulse voltammetry; fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

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