When our client, a global construction engineering company, won the tender to construct a new building for one of the world’s leading physics research centres, they were tasked with providing a centralised lab water purification system on-site. The system would need to supply highly purified lab-grade water to all research departments in the vast 32,900 m2 site. After a successful bid, Envirogen Group won the contract. The solution: our new LabPure laboratory water purification system.
Modern laboratories need constant streams of ultra-high purity, lab-grade water. No matter the research focus, purified water is needed for washing and cleaning equipment, as well as direct use in experiments and workflows. Laboratory water must be free of impurities, microbes and ions to ensure robust and accurate results.
In research centres with multiple laboratories, it makes sense to generate and supply this water from one centralised lab water purification system, as the cost of buying small local box water purification units or pre-treated water soon becomes cost-prohibitive.
Our client came to us with specific requirements. This new building for the physics research centre would need consistent water supplies of a very high specification for regulatory compliance. But that wasn’t all. To meet their sustainability goals, the system needed to demonstrate energy efficiency generation as well as low waste streams, and deliver this all with a low total cost of ownership.
Simplified and centralised lab water purification
Although each laboratory has slightly different purification requirements, the parameters are usually similar, requiring low conductivity, low particulate, and total organic carbon levels as well as low levels of bacteria.
“We developed LabPure specifically for the laboratory market,” explains John Jepson, Commercial Director, Envirogen. “Every one of these organisations needs very high-purity water. Some centres run incredibly sensitive experiments and you can’t afford to have impurities affecting the results. By combining three core water treatment technologies in one modular system, we can generate extremely high-purity streams.”
Each LabPure system combines:
- Energy-efficient, low energy reverse osmosis membranes (RO) to remove 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, pyrogens and suspended solids, and 96-99% of dissolved ions and organic compounds.
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) degas membranes – for CO2 removal, which further improves the downstream efficiency of the system.
- Electrodeionisation (EDI) – a high-flow rate system that removes remaining dissolved ions while reducing the system’s footprint.
“When we were designing this system, we wanted to ensure that it didn’t require chemical regeneration,” continues Jepson. “LabPure contains only technologies that can be easily maintained and serviced. That way, laboratories don’t have to factor in the time, space and safety requirements of storing and using hazardous regeneration chemicals, and the ongoing cost of ownership is dramatically reduced.
“With LabPure, it’s about delivering reliable, small-volume, high-quality, high-purity, lab-grade water in a compact, multi-technology system that is simple to install, operate and maintain. Now, laboratories in universities, clinical research environments, healthcare, diagnostics and pharmaceutical settings can access centralised sources of purified water in a very straightforward way.”
Making it modular for simple installation
“As is the case in many of our projects, we were working in an extremely busy and complex construction site,” explains Sam Blakemore, Project Manager, Envirogen. “We were one of many contractors on a site that had already experienced significant delays due to the Covid-19 national lockdown, so we needed to be able to install our equipment as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“Our LabPure lab water purification system is a multi-technology, modular system. It comes pre-assembled, pre-commissioned and skid-mounted so it slides into place for easy installation. We spend very little time on-site since all of the hard work meeting the client’s bespoke water purification requirements happens back at our manufacturing site.”
Modular doesn’t mean standard. There are five LabPure models available in a variety of different flow rates and the configuration of the system can be adjusted to meet the client’s exact demands.
“The plant room at the site was particularly crowded and the site design left very little room for a water treatment system,” continues Blakemore. “However, because LabPure is flexible, the footprint could be adjusted to fit the space and still leave room around the unit for servicing and maintenance tasks.”
Although this was the first installation of the LabPure system, the client could rest assured that the design was based on tried and tested technology.
John Jepson, Commercial Director, Envirogen Group:
“We’re proud that our LabPure installation features in such a high-profile and globally important project. LabPure is the latest product in our extensive EcoRange that includes our most popular, core water treatment technology. In LabPure, we combine established techniques to achieve high-quality laboratory water and like every product in the EcoRange portfolio, clients feel the cost, time and operational benefits of the ultra-efficient, modular, pre-tested and commissioned design.”
“In fact, on this site, LabPure was installed along with two other models from our EcoRange. Our EcoRO Compact and EcoSoft systems are working to supply water to the humidifiers and other water needs outside of the laboratories. Our PureCare service and maintenance package is also in place, ensuring ongoing operational efficiency.”
- A LabPure, multi-technology lab water purification system was installed, tested and pre-tested/commissioned off-site to save time on the busy construction site.
- The centralised system supplies up to 150 litres per hour of purified, lab-grade water to all laboratories on-site within a small and compact space.
- Ultra-pure water standards were achieved, meeting pre-requisites for regulatory and design compliance, including:
- 15 megaohm-cm MΩ-cm resistance through the LabPure system, followed by further polishing in the ringmain.
- 9% rejection of bacteria and pyrogens.
- 96-99% salt rejection.
- The efficient design achieved nominal rejection rates of between 96-98%, producing very small waste streams.
- With no chemical regeneration, there are no associated hazardous waste handling and disposal requirements.
Contact our team of expert engineers for more advice on our water treatment technology for hospital sterilisation equipment and laboratory applications
About the client
The client is a global construction engineering company tasked with constructing a new building for a world-leading physics research centre in the UK.