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SPX unveils innovative voltammetry technology for reliable analysis of heavy metals in water supplies

Posted: Thursday 18th June 2015

Heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, copper and zinc, also known as trace metals, are one of the most obstinate pollutants in surface and river water. High levels of heavy metal discharge into water sources can lead to severe environmental and health impacts for humans, aquatic ecosystems, soil and animals, so it is vital that levels are regularly and accurately measured. Until now achieving accurate, repeatable and reliable measurement has involved photometry, similar to that used in laboratories, but this involved the use of expensive chemicals and was not always reliable for metals such as lead. But with the launch of the PowerMon NG analyser with its innovative voltammetry technology, heavy metal levels can be measured in ground water, river water or tap water on site improving safety and regulatory compliance.

The PowerMon NG itself is a further development of the existing PowerMon units and will combine and replace the existing PowerMon and PowerMon S analysers in one entity. Voltammetry technology, both anodic stripping voltammetry and cathodic stripping voltammetry will be added to the existing analysing methods colorimetry, ionometry, titrometry and spectrometry.

Anodic stripping voltammetry is a voltammetric method for quantitative analysis of specific ionic species. The analyte of interest is electroplated on the working electrode during a deposition step, and oxidized from the electrode during the stripping step. The current is measured during the stripping step. The oxidation of species is registered as a peak in the current signal at the potential at which the species begins to be oxidized. Cathodic stripping voltammetry is similar to the trace analysis method anodic stripping voltammetry, except that for the plating step, the potential is held at an oxidizing potential, and the oxidized species are stripped from the electrode by sweeping the potential positively. This technique is used for ionic species that form insoluble salts and will deposit on or near the anodic, working electrode during deposition.

Through its Bran+Luebbe brand, SPX offers a range of highly effective PowerMon continuous and fully automatic on-line analysers. Bran+Luebbe has delivered high performance water monitoring analysers for more than 60 years.

The PowerMon range meets the needs of approximately 200 different water applications with more than 15,000 analyses possible. They can measure diverse parameters including oxygen, pH, Redox and conductivity with the connection of various sensors. Within the range are units such as the PowerMon S which can replace several single-parameter analysers and can monitor e.g. phosphate, nitrate and ammonia concentration levels. The PowerMon Titrometer can determine parameters such as m/p-value, hardness and boron in cooling water.

PowerMon analysers require very low maintenance. Long life bearings, a high quality motor drives which run at constant speed, self-diagnostics, automatic calibration and low reagent usage all ensure reduced running costs and increase the periods between maintenance compared with previous models of Bran+Luebbe analysers. Alongside network capability, which enables remote monitoring and easy integration into wider plant control systems, the analysers also have an easily operated local touch screen interface.

Overall SPX's PowerMon analysers help to improve monitoring of heavy metal and other contaminants in all water sources. Their low maintenance reduces ongoing costs while their speed and accuracy ensure effective and reliable monitoring. In addition, their multiple stream and measurement capability ensures a comprehensive and economic solution for water parameter monitoring.

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August 2021

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