Multipumping flow systems devoid of computer control for process and environmental monitoring

Burkhard Horstkotte, Carlos M. Duarte, Víctor Cerdà*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this paper we describe for the first time the use of astable multivibrator circuits for computer-less control of solenoid micropumps and application for analytical flow techniques. Triggering and powering were accomplished using the NE555 integrated circuit. The activation and deactivation time intervals were adjusted using 10-turn trimmer potentiometers. The potential and characteristics of the instrumentation were studied on a two-channel flow system injecting an indigo carmine indicator solution. Subsequently, a three-channel flow system was assembled and successfully applied to the determination of nitrite in well waters. One circuit was used to control the activation time intervals of three further circuits used for the control of the flow rates or pulsation of solenoid micropumps. These were used for driving carrier, reagent, and sample in an analytical flow system. In the present work, the utility of the circuits for the construction of simple multipumping flow systems was demonstrated. A main feature to be highlighted was the simplicity and very low costs of the controlling circuits, favouring economic and miniaturised flow analysers. Second, no expenses or knowledge are required for the usual software control of the solenoid micropumps. This allows working with every existing detector without considering any problems of software and control compatibility. Third, owing to these features, the proposed assembly is especially suited for simple monitoring analysers, sample provision from an environmental or industrial process, or chemical education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-354
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • astable multivibrator
  • computer-less control
  • multipumping
  • nitrite
  • solenoid micropump

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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