An automated, portable, battery-operated, computerized field-based monitor for the determination of fluoride based on the use of ion-selective electrode (ISE) potentiometry has been developed with the aid of low-powered complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices. The whole analytical cycle involving the rinsing of the cell, sampling, stirring, dosing of standards to the sample and data acquisition and manipulation is under microprocessor control. The modular instrument consists of pumps, valves, a flow-through cell containing a reference electrode, a fluoride ISE, a temperature probe and a stirrer, a microprocessor with a real-time clock, a pump-valve-stirrer interface, a portable terminal and a 12-V lead-acid battery to power all the instrumentation. The software for the application and monitoring functions for the instrument is written at assembler level and programmed into a CMOS erasable programmable read only memory (EPROM). The instrument is currently designed to determine fluoride in natural and fluoridated waters and is based on a double standard addition method, although the monitor can be modified easily to suit other appropriate ISE systems. Instrumental performance was evaluated with synthetic and real water samples both in the batch and continuous modes. The monitor can be used to carry out on-line fluoride determinations of water samples continuously for 1 week without anyone being attendance.
- Ion-selective electrodes