Sensor measures heavy metals in water quickly and precisely

2011-08-11 10:28 by Holland Environment Group Les femmes russes Agence de rencontre femmes russes.

International collaboration thanks to European Subsidy


Supported by a European Subsidy HWT initiated, in collaboration with Eijkelkamp Agrisearch Equipment, Selor and Geoconnect the Silco project in 2009. Next to these Dutch companies universities in Cologne (Germany) and Florence (Italy) and small businesses in Greece and Slowakia were development partners.

The sensor was developed to accurately measure the minute quantities of copper and silver ions that are added to water by the BIFIPRO® (the equipment of HWT which combats legionella in drinking water and cooling towers). Using the sensor the quantities dosed are immediately known. Prior to the development of the sensor watersamples needed to be taken and analysed, which takes a number of days and is considerably more expensive.

After exhaustive testing in the laboratory of Holland Watertechnology the first BIFIPRO®-system equipped with Silco-sensors was installed in a natural source Spa in Slowakia in july . Because the addition of copper and silver-ions keeps the baths free of bacteria the use of chlorine is avoided, giving the bathers a much more original experience.

The quantities of copper and silver are measured by the sensor, and followed remotely in the Netherlands. Based on these values the dosage can be adjusted remotely, or eventually by the BIFIPRO® system itself.

The Silco sensor is also intended for use with the BIFIPRO®COOL which eliminates legionella in cooling towers. With accurate quantities of copper and silver the addition of expensive chemicals which are harmful to the environment is no longer necessary. Because cooling towers are frequently difficult to access the on-line measurements provided by the sensor are a sensible solution.

More applications

Director Leo de Zeeuw of HWT sees more applications for the sensor technology. “By adding the sensor into a  ‘hand held’-device customers could eventually measure copper and silver quantities in their water system at different points”, he explains. “Using this they can detect dead-ends or sections with insufficient water flow in their plumbing system. This knowledge greatly helps in combatting legionella in complex water systems.” 

De Zeeuw calls the development of the Silco-systeem ‘a great example of European collaboration’. “Without the subsidy from Brussels the project would not have been started”, he says. “The universities in Germany and Italy and the companies in the Netherlands, Greece and Slowakia worked in harmony with a great product as a result.” According to De Zeeuw this project will lead to further sensors which are capable of measuring different substances. The companies are already collaborating on sensors to measure nitrates and nitrogen in a similar fashion.

For more information: Holland Watertechnology, Leo de Zeeuw, telephone +31-343 475 090 or +31-6-2000 7190

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