What's in Your Laboratory Water?
Water contains a myriad of contaminants
Due to its incredible solvent properties, water mixes with and dissolves a wide variety of substances - meaning lab water sources contains many different contaminants. Even trace levels of impurities can affect a variety of scientific applications – putting your results at risk.
Water sources are highly variable
Drinking water needs to conform to local regulations and has acceptable clarity, taste, and odor. This is achieved by treating natural water sources, such as reservoirs, rivers or underground aquifers through a series of steps, which vary with the water source, local and national regulations, and the choice of technologies. So, it’s easy to appreciate that water will vary significantly from one geographical location to another - and it can even change from season to season. Water is a source of variability in your experiments that you can’t afford to ignore.
A key reagent for
A key reagent for experimental success
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What is ultrapure water?
Ultrapure water (UPW) is water that has been purified to high levels of specification. As a standard, the water contains only H20, as well as balanced number of H+ and OH- ions. It has a resistivity of 18.2 MΩ.cm, TOC < 10 ppb and bacterial count <10 CFU/ml. To be classified as ultrapure, water must not contain any detectable endotoxins. This level of purity makes it a perfect reagent for laboratory work.
Why should you worry about impurities in your lab water?
Ultrapure water, also known as Type 1 Water, reaches the theoretical ideal levels of purity, with a resistivity of 18.2 MΩ.cm, TOC < 10 ppb and bacterial count <10 CFU/ml. Endotoxins are also removed, and as such ultra pure water typically contains <0.03 EU/ml, with nucleases and proteases at non-detectable levels.
Ultrapure water is an essential and critical reagent used in many highly sensitive scientific applications like HPLC, LC-MS, GC-MS, GFAAS, PCR and mammalian cell culture, as well as clinical analyzers.
What is ultrapure water used for?
UPW is used in the semiconductor and pharmaceutical industries the most, though it’s an ideal solution for any work in the lab. Its level of purification makes it versatile for highly sensitive applications.
Applications that use UPW include:
- High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
- Liquid Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS)
- Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
- Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (GFAAS)
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
- Immunochemistry (ICC)
- Mammalian cell culture
- Clinical analysers
- Trace Analysis
How does ultrapure water help chromatography?
The improved sensitivity of widely used advanced chromatography techniques, such as LC-MS and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), demands water of the highest purity. That’s because a variety of contaminants, including dissolved gases, particles, colloids, bacteria and organic compounds, can impair data outputs, such as producing higher background values or directly interfering with the analyses. This makes ultrapure water vital to protecting the reliability of your liquid chromatography applications.
How does ultrapure water help trace analysis?
Trace element analysis involves detecting very low (trace) concentrations of certain chemical elements in a sample. This requires highly sensitive and accurate analytical techniques, with detection resolutions being as low as parts per trillion!
But the downside of this highly sensitive detection is that the data outputs can be adversely affected by even tiny amounts of contamination by additional elements or ions. This includes causing errors in blanks and calibration samples, or artificially high sample concentrations. As such, the reliability of trace element analysis must be protected using ultrapure water that is virtually free from impurities.
Ultrapure water dispensed by ELGA’s water purification systems has been shown to be free from trace contaminants to meet the demands of instruments used for trace element analysis.
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Why use ultrapure water?
Ultrapure water contains no contaminants or impurities, both of which are present in average drinking water. The types of contaminants that are present in your water, and the amount, can depend on where the water is sourced from. The presence of impurities and contaminants can have a serious impact on your data. By ensuring you use water meets a high level of purity you eliminate any sabotage to your data and ensure reliable, accurate results.
Are there any risks with using ultrapure water?
The composition of ultrapure water makes it quite unstable, as water doesn’t like to be in an ultrapure state. When this water comes into contact with impurities and minerals, such as organic and in-organic compounds, it tries to absorb them into its structure. So, you want to be careful with how you store it so there’s minimised risk of contamination and your water stays ultrapure.
What’s the process when creating ultrapure water?
There are a number of detailed processes completed when purifying water. With each treatment contaminants in the water are further reduced and the level of purity increased. The duration of this process depends on the level of impurity before beginning the purification process. Once all unwanted contaminants are removed, the water can either be used straight away or stored until needed.
Why use ELGA Ultrapure water?
Here at ELGA LabWater we understand how crucial it is for scientists to have access to ultrapure water, or whatever the required water grade they require for their work. When combined, the technologies used in ELGA equipment can remove impurities from water down to extremely low levels; some technologies focus on specific contaminants while others have a broader spectrum of targets. To achieve the correct water purity for a particular application, in a cost-effective manner, we arrange a combination of different technologies and optimize their operation.
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Choosing which water type the ELGA Way -
it is as easy as I, II, III
So our experts have done the hard work for you! In our latest white paper, we have created an easy-to-use system that classifies water purity into broad types as well as a more detailed list of common applications and the water purity they require.
Getting a Reliable Supply of Ultrapure Water for Your Lab
We will demonstrate why using the right level of water purity is a simple way to help achieve more consistent, accurate results. And that installing an in-house water purification system can save you time, money and reduce your environmental impact. You will discover:
- The potential impact of water contaminants on everyday laboratory uses
- How lab water is purified and the different types of water that can be obtained
- How to select the best lab water purification system to suit your needs