Robert H. Byrne

Document Type


Publication Date

May 2011

Patent Number



A device for the precise and accurate potentiometric pH measurements in situ. Embodiments of a potentiometric device according to the invention consist of one or more glass pH-sensitive electrodes connected to a potentiometer. A key feature of the device is that, rather than being calibrated conventionally with buffers, it can be calibrated with an in situ device that measures pH spectrophotometrically. Spectrophotometric pH measurements obtained via sulfonephthalein absorbance measurements are inherently calibrated (do not require buffers). Thus, devices according to the invention allow for continuous potentiometric pH measurements with occasional spectrophotometric calibrations. The spectrophotometric calibration device consists of a spectrophotometer with associated pumps for combining a sulfonephthalein pH indicator with the aqueous medium whose pH is to be measured. The device will record potentiometric pH measurements for an extended period of time until the spectrophotometric device is autonomously activated for another calibration. In this manner precise and accurate pH measurements can be obtained continuously in the environment, and the low energy expenditure of the potentiometric device provides excellent endurance. Also provided is a method and associated devices for spectrophotometrically determining the salinity of an aqueous medium.

Application Number



University of South Florida

Filing Date


Primary/U.S. Class