Detector based on a film for in situ Iron, Aluminium and Mercury measures

  • From Spain
  • Responsive
  • Patents for licensing

Summary of the technology

Polimeric film that acts as a colorimetric film for iron in acqueus media. Presence or lack of iron currently appears in several problems / issues such as legionella´s growth at air conditioning cooling towers. Furthermore, it causes iron chlorosis on fruit and wine trees and it can be transferred to the drinking water if is not controlled at the purifying plants.


Details of the Technology Offer

New and innovative aspects

Smart material is designed to save costs and time on reagents, lab material and personnel. The material allows not only qualitative but quantitative detection as well. This quantification can be obtained by means of conventional spectrophotometry equipment or by RGB parametres calibration on a digital picture of the membrane.

Main advantages of its use

- Qualitative and quantitative analysis "IN SITU "
- Change easily distinguishable color- Can be used by non-qualified personnel and under all weather conditions (as long as the water is going to analyze liquid )
- No cables or batteries required
- Allows a quick glance analysis- Avoid the use of equipment spectrometry expensive
- No reagents required for analysis
- As an organic polymer expiry date of the product is superior to 100 years
- Easily transported in an envelope, briefcase or without test kit
- Direct measurement without additional equipment
- Acts as detector of iron, aluminum and mercury separately. In the presence of iron changes to dark green in the presence of mercury switch to deep orange, and in the presence of aluminum becomes fluorescent-Behavior gel. Swelling in water, thus allowing the detection of the elements present in the medium in which it is immersed .
- High selectivity towards iron. The attraction with iron is very strong (K = 1040 , which can detect free iron and iron complexed in the case of wine and blood serum .
- Can be stored anywhere that does not involve some extreme environmental conditions- Does not require the use of protective measures ( gloves, goggles, etc. )


Polymer membrane film based on two commercial biocompatible monomers polymerization, one sensor monomer and one crosslinking.The film presents an almost incolore feature. When submerged on acqueus iron media, the film abruptly changes to a dark green. If the media is contaminated with mercury of aluminum the film changes to an orange colour or fluorescent respectively. Additionally to this, it maintains excellent mechanical properties both dry and wet.


1. Cooling towers / evaporative condensers . Legionella . Legionella is a bacterium that produces significant health problems, even death, to those individuals who have their infection. The main point of growth of these bacteria in cooling systems and in particular industrial and humidification. This requires monitoring the presence of iron in these systems since an excess helps the grow1th / o2f the bacteria.

2. Sowing Fruit and Vine. Iron chlorosis . Iron chlorosis is a disease that affects the leaves due to iron deficiency in the soil for
planting. With a simple measurement can control their soils are rich in iron can even know what soil is suitable for planting.

3. EDAR and ETAP . Anticoagulants Iron and Aluminum . In sewage treatment plants and sewage treatment plants for drinking water are used daily and in large quantities based coagulants salts of iron and aluminum. Therefore, there is a real risk of contamination of water by these metals. This risk can be eliminated by our detector film, and when we would know if they are contaminated.

4. Industrial / process piping construction . Corrosion . In all systems containing iron pipes there is a danger that corrosion occurs and pollutes the water flowing through these circuits. The formation of these rusts causes problems in industrial processes that depend directly on the water supplied by these pathways. Similarly boiler systems or flow in this type of water eventually wear is stored so that the pipes have to be replaced.

Intellectual property status

Patented for the University of Burgos. P201300575.

Current development status

Working Prototype or Samples Ready for Testing

Desired business relationship

Commercial Agreement, License Agreement, Technical Cooperation: further development; Technical Cooperation: testing new applications; Technical Cooperation: adaptation to specific needs

Intellectual property status

Attached documents

Related Keywords

  • Agrofood Industry
  • Protecting Man and Environment
  • Medical Health related
  • Other
  • Wine
  • Blood
  • membrane
  • film
  • mercury
  • aluminum
  • iron
  • fruit trees


The aim of the The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) of the Univesidad de Burgos is to promote Innovation technology through the reseach results transfer and the conexions between the University and the new needs and requirements of the society - we are the link between the University and the Industry. Contact person: José Manuel López (


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