Introduction to Fluorescence for Oil in Water Monitoring

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Courtesy of Arjay Engineering Ltd.

Fluorescence can be found in many applications throughout our day-to-day routines.

Commercially, one of the most obvious uses is in fluorescent lighting. For this, fluorescence is used to emit light from a tube without the use of heat, unlike standard incandescent light bulbs that require a heated element. In this example, fluorescence also contributes to energy conservation efforts.

At an industrial level, the fluorescence principle is an integral part in the production of specialty paints and inks. Fluorescence is used in street signs to make them more striking when light shines at them at night and fluorescent inks in posters make them more appealing to the human eye. Fluorescent dyes in commercial products are popular as a method to make a product stand out on the store shelf such as in dish soaps and packaging. Fluorescent chemicals are even used in laundry detergents to make your clothes look brighter.

On a more scientific level, fluorescence can be seen in use on most crime shows on TV. A typical example of fluorescence is used to show up bloodstains on a cleaned surface such as a counter. In industry, fluorescence is a common tool for the determination of mineral types in rock and can be used as a tag to measure water contamination such as e-coli counts in drinking water.

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