Providing world-leading water technologies


  • What is bioluminescence and how does it work?

    Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. Bioluminescence occurs widely in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as in some fungi, microorganisms including some bioluminescent bacteria and terrestrial invertebrates such as fireflies.
    Bioluminescence occurs through a chemical reaction that produces light energy within an organism's body. For a reaction to occur, a species must contain luciferin, a molecule that, when it reacts with oxygen, produces light.
    Biosensor tests using bioluminescent bacteria have been in use for 30 years and their capability in detecting toxic substances is well understood. They use the principle that certain strains of bacteria emit light when healthy. When they are exposed to toxic substances, the amount of light emitted reduces. The greater the toxicity of the sample, the lower the light emitted. Measuring changes in light between healthy bacteria and bacteria exposed to toxic substances will therefore indicate the presence of a toxin in a water sample.

    What is Modern Water’s solution?

    Our systems use bioluminescent bacteria to perform biosensor testing that detects the presence of toxic substances.
    Modern Water has invented three different toxicity monitors that use bioluminescence; the Microtox® CTM a site-based, broad range continuous toxicity monitor; the Microtox® LX toxicity test system is the industry standard for laboratory-based rapid toxicity screening and analysis; and the Microtox® FX, a portable acute toxicity analyser used with the Microtox® technology.
    Our range of toxicity testing technologies is both industry-leading and ground-breaking. For a full list of scientific papers written about our Microtox® technology visit the Technical Support section of our website. 

    Why do I need this? 

    Real-time continuous monitoring systems are important for the protection of water resources against either accidental or intentional releases of toxic chemicals.
    • Petro drilling mud
    • Contaminated soil
    • Drinking water monitoring
    • Ecotoxicology
    • Hazardous waste
    • Industrial effluent
    • Industrial process water
    • Marine water
    • Medical/Pharmaceutical products
    • Mining wastes, soil and water
    • Municipal effluent
    • Personal care/Household
    • Chemicals
    • Recreational water
    • Sediments
    • Solid phase materials
    • Storm water
    • Deliberate and accidental contamination events
    • Potable water at point of use or in the distribution network
    • Monitoring of rivers, lake, reservoirs, seawater, groundwater/natural attenuation
  • What is voltammetry and how does it work?

    Voltammetry is a category of electroanalytical methods used in analytical chemistry and various industrial processes. In voltammetry, information about an analyte is obtained by measuring the current as the potential is varied.
    One of the characteristics of voltammetry is its high sensitivity and interferences caused by high concentrations of dissolved solids, low purchase price and easy operation.
    There are many types of voltammetry, however Modern Water uses Adsorptive stripping voltammetry - A quantitative, analytical method for trace analysis. The analyte is deposited simply by adsorption on the electrode surface (i.e., no electrolysis), then electrolyzed to give the analytical signal. Chemically modified electrodes are often used.

    What is Modern Water’s solution?

    Our systems use solid state electrodes to perform voltammetry for the analysis of metals in solution.
    Our trace/ heavy metal product range includes the portable PDV6000ultra and the two on-line, continuous systems: the OVA7100 and OVA7100 Dual Cell. Our technology is robust and reliable, can be operated by technicians anywhere in the world and is relatively low maintenance.
    The portable, laboratory and online systems have a worldwide reputation for quality, reliability and ease of use, enabling customers to monitor pollutant levels, optimise their processes, minimise damage to the environment and protect the health of employees and communities at large.

    How does voltammetry compare?

    While Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) and Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) are very widely used and have some advantages, in many situations, voltammetric methods are more suitable.
    Voltammetry is a much more cost effective method as;
    • Voltammetry does not need expensive infrastructure such as fume extraction, cooling water supply, greatly lowering running costs.
    • Voltammetry instruments are cheaper than AAS and much cheaper than price of ICP.
    • Voltammetry does not need expensive consumables such as ultra pure gases or lamps.
    • Voltammetry does not need to be started and stabilised for hours before first analysis.
    Our systems use a solid state electrode (non-mercury) to perform Anodic stripping voltammetry for the analysis of metals in solution. The technology is robust and reliable, can be operated by technicians anywhere in the world and is relatively low maintenance. It has a superior performance to other methods because;
    • It has lower detection limits than standard AAS. Low ppb levels detectable for most metals and sample types. Sub ppb levels often possible with appropriate reagents & environment
    • Speciation ability. More toxic forms are typically more easily measured by Voltammetry
    • Voltammetry is not adversely affected by chloride, magnesium, calcium etc. allowing direct analysis of estuary, sea and other waters which require treatment for AAS or ICP analysis.
    • Voltammetry is ideally suited to on site and on-line use.
    • Academic research
    • Monitoring at remote locations
    • Contaminated land remediation
    • Food and feed analysis
    • Tracing contamination back to source
    • Accidental contamination events
    • Monitoring of rivers, lakes, reservoirs, seawater
    • Industrial effluent monitoring
    • Groundwater monitoring/natural attenuation
    • Wastewater recycling and WWTP influent monitoring
    • Drinking water intake and distribution
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Modern Water plc
12th Floor
6 New Street Square
United Kingdom

Tel: +44-(0)20-38273439
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