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The Role of Water Purification in a Laboratory
For the general public, water purification is an issue which relates to general health. In a laboratory setting, it can be the difference between a successful experiment and a wasted one. This is why laboratories often utilize powerful water testing and purification technologies. Based on the components within the water, it is classified into one of several categories which will do know how it is used within the lab.
There are a variety of different water purification grade levels based upon what organizations water quality specifications are used. The most commonly used organizational specifications come from ISO 3696 (Grade 1-3), ASTM (Type I-IV), and NCCLS (Type I-III). While there are variances between each organization's standards, there are also a significant number of similarities.
The water grade will largely dictate how the water is used within a laboratory setting. Regardless of the organizational specifications used, some generalities can be drawn. Type 3 water is considered the lowest laboratory grade. It is primarily used for washing glassware, heating baths, feeding Type 1 lab water purification systems, and filling autoclaves. Type 2 water is used in general laboratory applications. This includes pH solutions, cell structure incubators, microbiological culture media preparation, and for preparation of reagents.
The final category is Type 1. It is considered to be the most expensive water to create and is used for critical lab applications. This includes producing reagents, preparing buffers, and preparing solutions for blotting and electrophoresis.
The primary factor behind all of these different grading scales for water purification is based upon the five primary classes of contaminants which are found in tap water. The first class is inorganic ions. They include materials such as calcium, iron, sulfate, and sodium. Depending on the water source, a significant number of additional inorganic ions can be found. Inorganic ions are important to filter out because the smallest trace levels can affect organic and biochemical reactions.
The second category is organic molecules. In most cases, they have a biological origin such as tannins, and humic acids. There are also a number of man-made organic contaminants which could be introduced to the water supply through the pipes transporting the water. A related category is referred to as particulates and colloids. They consist of microscopic vegetal debris as well as sand and rock. Both of these can be extracted through specific water purification processes.
The fourth category is living organisms, mainly bacteria and their byproducts. Bacteria are most commonly found in surface water. While chlorination will remove harmful bacteria, tap water may still contain living microorganisms. They can cause a variety of issues and experiments either through direct synthesis or through the byproducts they create such as alkaline phosphatase.
The final category of contaminants monitored through water purification is additional gases. Natural water sources contain a number of dissolved gases including nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Additionally, the concentration levels of oxygen can greatly affect biochemical reactions.
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About the Author
Mike Funes invites you to take a look at Mirae Scientific Technology
. For the general public, Water Purification
is an issue which relates to general health. In a laboratory setting, it can be the difference between a successful experiment and a wasted one.
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Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2012 -
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