Thinking about the labs of the future and where technology will be in the lead up to 2020, only 6 years from now; we asked Matt Boeck, Global Product Manager at ELGA, five questions about his thoughts on the technologies needed to make a water purification system future-proof.
We are seeing a need from customers to have a low maintenance system with a low spend on consumables, while also giving more flexibility. I think that electrodeionization (EDI) technology will be a strong focus for the future as it combines ion exchange with direct current. It means a reduction in the use of the chemicals needed to regenerate resins. There is likely to be a move towards flexible software and product connectivity, possibly involving the use of Apps to control systems remotely. Watch this space!
Yes, the technologies used have remained unchanged because they are still a reliable way of ensuring a high purity of water. Increasingly, pure water systems are being designed specifically for analytical instruments. We continually focus on delivering customized solutions to meet the individual needs and requirements of the customer. In addition, research and development in ultrapure water technologies and working alongside analytical instrument manufacturers continues to be of importance to ensure water purification systems are suitable for the analytical instruments of the future.
Yes and no. Users realize that ultrapure water is essential to laboratory applications, but often water is taken for granted even though it makes up the vast majority of reagents. An understanding of the different grades of ultrapure water will help lab personnel in understanding the importance it has in generating repeatable, accurate results. In the worst case scenario, months of work can be called into question if inconsistencies are identified in the delivery of pure water, jeopardizing published data.
As we have an ever-growing population which has now exceeded 7 billion people, it is likely that there will be a strong focus on research around healthcare such as immunology, genomics and processes requiring analytical spectroscopy and chromatography. I think that nanotechnology will also be developed. With technological advancements, it is likely that there will be an increase in the water quality requirements and standards that equipment will have to adhere to.
There is a growing awareness of environmental factors and concern about the amount of water being put to waste, so I think that this will be addressed in the near future with an improvement in water recycling and reuse. As demands increase, there will also need to be higher flow rates for centralized systems. It is likely that the management, trending, monitoring and reporting of water quality will become very important to meet stricter regulatory requirements.
Matt Boeck is Global Product Manager for the Research, Analytical and Centralized markets. With over 10 years of experience within the Laboratory, he is keen to develop customized products which focus on being able to meet the application, budget and configuration of individual labs.