In order to reduce the number of different sensors located in a measurement probe, water monitoring systems require a unique technology.
"The Capilix microchip capillary electrophoresis technology promises to reduce the number or variety of sensors applied for measurements," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Igor Derylo." It also offers the prospect of significantly reducing the time needed to get a test outcome by bringing the laboratory to the sample, rather than bringing the sample to the laboratory."
Novel approaches towards multi-parameter monitoring have the potential to open new markets for water quality sensors. The detailed water analysis enabled by Capilix's technology is applicable in several sectors.
It could be applied to drinking water safety control (such as the detection of hormones according to EU Water Framework Directive); for waste water treatment surveillance (nitrogen, phosphate sensing); in greenhouse irrigation systems (to ensure high quality vegetables) and; in biogas production (for the control of anaerobic digesters). Industrial segments that require fluid component analysis include brewing (sulphate monitoring); pulp and paper (such as carbonate ions for scaling control); food (polyphosphates in potato processing) and chemical (for instance, metal ions in zeolite production).
"The ion analysis capability offered by Capilix's technology gives not only direct detection and quantification results but, combined with sector specific expert knowledge, enables much more," states Derylo. "For instance, no additional scaling indicator is required. The Capilix technology could also be applicable in non-water industries, such as in the medical sector for medical profiling or drug analysis."
Reliable and capability-rich sensors have significant potential to bring unique functionality into water assets. Capabilities of the Capilix technology include detailed ion profiling of fluid content, but are not limited to this feature.
"It leverages latest technology trends, such as micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and lab-on-a-chip integration in order to enable miniaturization and fully automated measurements," explains Derylo. "As an operator is not needed, it makes the technology particularly advantageous for industrial automation purposes and adds new functionality to water installations."
The technology innovation from Capilix could have a significant impact on the overall practices followed by water-related sectors. So far, water quality measurements have been made by taking samples to the laboratory for analysis. Sensing techniques have been used as indicators of potential water content changes.
"The lab-on-chip approach from Capilix offers fluid content analysis to be made in the field; it can significantly reduce the time of testing, by avoiding the need of laboratory analysis of samples," adds Derylo. "This way, the cost of water quality monitoring also gets reduced, which is of highest customer value."
The distinguishing factor of the most advanced process industries is that they can control not only the volume of processed or distributed goods, but can also specify the quality of the goods. Miniaturized capillary electrophoresis from Capilix enables detailed and automated water quality measurements at the rate of ten times per hour or higher, which makes it close to real-time.
"With such a feedback, entire water-related processes can be controlled and managed almost in real-time," concludes Derylo." From this perspective, the Capilix solution acts as an enabling technology for agile enterprises, allowing them to react rapidly to changing market or production conditions and ensure effective resource utilization."
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Capilix - Microchip Capillary Electrophoresis
Capilix (capilix.com) is an innovative company situated in Leeuwarden within the EU water hub of innovative water technologies. Capilix focuses on development and supply of sensor solutions based on proprietary microchip capillary electrophoresis technology. Capilix has developed this platform technology into on-line instruments for use in various industrial environments, mostly water related.
Markets & applications:
Greenhouses - nutrient composition of irrigation water
Drinking water - ionic composition of drinking water
Waste water - ionic composition of (municipal) waste water
Anaerobic treatment - volatile fatty acids and bicarbonate
Industrial - heavy metals and other specific types of metal ions.
Evert van de Werfhorst, CEO, E e.vandewerfhorst[.]capilix.com.
Geert Besselink, CTO, E g.besselink[.]capilix.com.
Agora 4, 8934 CJ, P.O. Box 7560, 8903 JN, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, T +31(0)58 288 3505, F +31(0)58 280 1329
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