New portable analyser to detect drinking water contamination
Water contamination by heavy metals is a serious threat to public health and the food industry. EU legislation stipulates that heavy metal levels in the water must be checked and monitored carefully. However, proper water analysis incurs high costs. The EU-funded PANDa project is working to solve this problem. It will bring to market a portable analyser made of glass, based on patented lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology. This can improve the detection of water pollutants, as well as monitor and report information quickly. It saves on maintenance, investment and labour costs. The project will prepare a feasibility study to estimate the financial and technical characteristics of the device required by the market.
Water is an invaluable resource for humans and agricultural and industrial activities. Preventing this natural resource from pollutants to guarantee good chemical status for its multiple uses is a global challenge. Pollutants such as chemicals, in particular heavy metals, can cause serious health hazards and have long-lasting effects in humans and the human food chain. Current legislation such as the 2013/39/EU directive states that heavy metals must be monitored regularly and stablishes maximum thresholds of heavy metals concentration e.g. 0.1-0.5 μg/l. Water treatment plants require efficient and effective methods of inspecting, sampling and reporting on the quality of water. However, high costs associated with water analysis combined with the complex and lengthy processes involved, pose a challenge for those responsible for ensuring a safe supply of water for all. In response to those challenges Klearia has developed PANDa, a Portable ANalyser for the Detection of metal micropollutants in water, based on the patented lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology, made of glass. PANDa can easily and accurately detect heavy metals by electrochemical methods. The benefits for users are three-fold: a) improvement in tracing pollutants in low concentration levels, b) costs-savings associated to equipment, staff and maintenance, c) quick and accurate monitoring and reporting of results, leading to overall improvement of processes and business practices. PANDa is presently at TRL6, so the aim of this project is to conduct a feasibility study to assess the technical, commercial and financial aspects needed to commercialise the product.