An evaluation of some fluorescent dyes for water tracing


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Publication Date

February 1977


Eight fluorescent dyes (amino G acid, photine CU, fluorescein, lissamine FF, pyranine, rhodamine B, rhodamine WT, and sulpho rhodamine B) were compared in laboratory and field experiments to assess their utility in quantitative tracing work. The properties considered included sensitivity and minimum detectability, the effect of water chemistry on dye fluorescence, photochemical and biological decay rates, adsorption losses on equipment and sediments, toxicity to man and aquatic organisms, and cost. The orange fluorescent dyes are more useful than the blue and green because of the lower background fluorescence at the orange wave band, which permits higher sensitivities to be obtained. Pyranine fluorescence is strongly affected by pH over the range encountered in natural waters, which precludes its simple use in quantitative work. Amino G acid, photine CU, pyranine, and fluorescein all have high photochemical decay rates. Pyranine, lissamine FF, and amino G acid are the dyes most resistant to adsorption, but rhodamine WT, fluorescein, and sulpho rhodamine B also have moderately high resistance. Rhodamine B is readily adorbed by most materials. Rhodamine WT (orange), lissamine FF (green), and amino G acid (blue) are the three tracer dyes recommended; they may be used simultaneously to trace three injection sites with the filter combinations suggested.


Fluorescent Dyes, Filter, Water Tracing

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