An apparatus and process is provided for detecting elemental mercury in soil. A sacrificial electrode of aluminum is inserted below ground to a desired location using direct-push/cone-penetrometer based equipment. The insertion process removes any oxides or previously found mercury from the electrode surface. Any mercury present adjacent the electrode can be detected using a voltmeter which indicates the presence or absence of mercury. Upon repositioning the electrode within the soil, a fresh surface of the aluminum electrode is created allowing additional new measurements.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC09-08SR22470 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.