Detection of low-level humic acid in water using room temperature-synthesized copper (I) oxide colloids


A glucose-reduced, room temperature-synthesized colloidal Cu2O solution (CCS) was used for the first time to detect humic acid (HA), a carcinogen-promoting substance in aqueous solution. The CCS sensor was characterized using standard spectroscopy and microscopy techniques. The sensor evolved as a carboxylic acid-capped peach-pink solution after synthesis. The result of the interaction of the sensor with HA in phosphate buffer solution (pH 7) showed a detection limit of 1.5891 × 10−2 mg/L over a concentration range of 0.00–0.41 mg/L. This finding suggests that the sensor may be useful for monitoring low levels of HA in aqueous environments.

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The authors are grateful to the Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability Research Unit (NanoWS) of the University of South Africa (UNISA) for the resource and financial supports.

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Correspondence to Olayemi J. Fakayode.

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Fakayode, O.J., Adekunle, A.S. & Nkambule, T.T.I. Detection of low-level humic acid in water using room temperature-synthesized copper (I) oxide colloids. MRS Communications 9, 1317–1322 (2019).

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