NTU Singapore Water Test
The NTU Singapore Water Test is a portable device designed to detect trace levels of heavy metals in drinking water in approximately five minutes.
The NTU Singapore Water Test is a portable device designed to detect trace levels of heavy metals in drinking water in just five minutes. The device uses an optical fiber sensor modified with a chelating agent which binds to metal ions. A laser shines through, and the resulting shift in the output light spectrum sensor is read by a processing unit that displays the results of the water quality test. This product is still in prototyping phase.
Worldwide; the prototype was developed in Singapore
Primary competitors include heavy metal and lead tests such as ANDalyze Fluorimeter, sensing probes, test strips, and portable devices with buffer solutions
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Target users include water testers in the field, water treatment plants, and possible expansion to domestic household products
This product is currently in the prototyping phase and not yet manufactured at scale.
The designers have not yet selected their user provision model.
The device sensing region uses L-glutathione (GSH), a chelating agent which functions to specifically bind Pb2+ onto the optical fiber sensor for on-site detection of heavy metal ions. The detection time is less than five minutes, and can detect up to 24 metal contaminants. The device has an overall dimension of 203 mm × 149.50 mm × 65 mm and weighs 0.8 kg.
External and internal schematic of the NTU Singapore Water Test device
Provided by the manufacturer
Disposable sensor cartridges
The designers aim to have heavy metal tests completed in under five minutes, have the tests perform in temperatures up to 40°C, and have a detection limit of 5 ppb.
The device demonstrated a measured detection limit of 5 μg/L and good selectivity toward Pb2+ even with the presence of other metal ions.
NTU Singapore in collaboration with Feng Chia University and Nanjing University
Battery charging and disposable sensor cartridges
Yap, S.H.K., et al., 2018, An Advanced Hand-Held Microfiber-Based Sensor for Ultrasensitive Lead Ion Detection. ACS Sensors, 3, pp. 2506-2512.
The level of sensitivity falls within standards of the World Health Organization and of the Environmental Public Health Act in Singapore.
The device was evaluated against ICP-MS screened results and known water samples for heavy metal contaminant sensitivity readings including including for Ca2+, Cs2+, Cu2+, Fe2+, Mg2+, Mn2+, Ni2+, Zn2+, and Cd2+, Pb2+.
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