Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to meet with members of the Chemistry Department from a reputed university. The team was in the process of setting up a new laboratory and needed a water purification system that would meet the requirements of their high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry (MS) work. The researcher in this laboratory works with the United States Department of Agriculture to promote natural farming and is working to research soil pesticides in order to use soil microbes for sustainable farming.
HPLC is a technique used to separate, identify, and quantify each component in a mixture. Using a pump, a solvent is pressurized through a column to separate and detect these components. Water is used as the solvent to prepare the standards for the mobile phase of HPLC.
With HPLC, water purity is critical. The team at the university would need access to Ultrapure Type 1 water that would allow for tight analysis of samples and ensure there would be no contamination. Previously, the team purchased bottled water, which was not only expensive but was giving them a lot of background noise in their results. Background noise or ghost peaks occur when there are impurities in the mobile phase as the samples flow through the HPLC columns leading to inaccurate or inconsistent results. Common impurities that cause this noise are bacteria and organic compounds. They needed a better solution.
In addition to the Ultrapure water, they would also need a source of Type 2 water for rinsing glassware, which would replace the deionized water they were currently using. A system with a higher capacity was also important to them to address the lab’s water usage. Oftentimes, the bottled water ran out; leaving them unable to continue MS calibration.
A source of Ultrapure Type 1 water at HPLC-grade and Type 2 water, the system’s filters optimize purification performance by reducing organics, bacteria and particles, which would enable the team to avoid contamination and achieve accurate and repeatable results.
Designed with a 16L/hour single reverse osmosis module for faster water production and 60L of reservoir storage, the system would also meet the team’s usage requirements.
The leak detection and auto-shut-off would be an added benefit – giving them peace of mind when the lab wasn’t in use.
The system checked all their boxes and allows them to perform their HPLC and MS work more efficiently and effectively. Using MS/GC, their research can identify residual toxicity in soil and crop species and promote natural farming and sustainable farming ventures.