A prototype sensing system for in-situ monitoring of volatile organic compounds in contaminated groundwater was tested at a pilot scale plant. The sensor consists of a commercially available Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, connected to a 6 m long infrared transparent silver halide fibre optic cable. A 10 cm long core-only section at the centre of the fibre is mounted on a sensor head and coated with a hydrophobic polymer layer, while the remaining fibre is protected by Teflon tubing and thus not in contact with the surrounding media. The sensor head was immersed into the monitoring wells of the pilot plant testing the sensor system under circumstances close to field conditions and typical for in-situ measurements. The pilot plant consists of a 1 m3 cubic tank filled with gravel. A pump is used to circulate water horizontally through the tank, simulating a natural aquifer. The evolution of the concentration of analytes injected into the system is monitored with time using the developed prototype sensing system. The results are validated by corresponding sampling and analysis with headspace gas chromatography.

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