Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Miniature Water Quality Laboratory
Oak Ridge Centers for Manufacturing Technology (ORCMT) is developing an apparatus which can provide a rapid, portable, inexpensive method to certify water potability. Typical water-quality analysis involves collecting samples, transporting the samples to a laboratory, and analyzing the samples with on-site equipment. Results usually take days to obtain.
The portable device under development (Figure 3-3) will use current technology based on the microbial reaction of luciferin, luciferase, and magnesium ions (prepared reagents) to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from any living organism. During analysis, the researcher mixes the water sample with the prepared reagents. If the sample emits a fluorescent light, the researcher knows that ATP is present, the sample contains living organisms, and the water is contaminated.
About the size of a transistor radio, the miniature water quality laboratory will incorporate the necessary electronics; an easy, low-technology control panel; and an LED information panel. The bulk of the unit’s volume will be determined by the water sample size as set by industry’s water analysis standards.
ORCMT’s miniature water-quality laboratory will provide an efficient and quick method for analyzing water quality; enable personnel to operate the equipment with minimal training; omit the need for central facilities or utilities; and offer accessibility for field testing. Advantages over conventional laboratory methods include reduced size and weight; full automation; mobility; and minimal consumable usage.
Figure 3-3. Miniature Water Quality Laboratory
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Point of Contact for this survey.