Electrochemical Sensing Allows for Precise, Convenient Water Quality Measurements

Measuring and controlling water quality is a key operation in many industrial and environmental applications. The pH value, for example, is regulated as part of wastewater treatment, and many industrial processes are pH dependent. Conductivity is another important parameter: The electrical conductivity of a sample can determine concentration of solutions, detect contaminants, and determine the purity of the liquids.

Although a variety of techniques can be used to measure pH and conductivity, many of these require expensive equipment or must be performed in a laboratory. Many important liquid analyses rely on electrochemistry, a branch of chemistry that characterizes the behavior of reduction-oxidation (redox) reactions by measuring the transfer of electrons from one reactant to another.

Electrochemical (EC) sensors use this principle to provide a quick, convenient, and low-cost means of measuring water quality. As part of their “Circuits from The Lab” portfolio, Analog Devices offers reference designs that use EC sensors in conjunction with a variety of ADI components to address water quality measurement challenges. Each one comes with design and integration files, factory-tested evaluation hardware, and a comprehensive documentation package.

This article covers the principle operation of electrochemical sensors used to measure water quality, discusses interface design challenges and solutions, and reviews several Analog Devices reference designs developed specifically for these applications.



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