Algae and chlorophyll reading instrument

Monday, 28 September, 2009 | Supplied by: Technical & Scientific Equipment

Technical and Scientific Equipment’s AlgaeTorch, from bbe, Germany, is a lightweight, outdoor instrument for the quantification of blue-green algae and total chlorophyll. It allows for the rapid measurement of toxic algae in water used for drinking and recreation purposes.

The algae analysis includes the determination of the chlorophyll content, which replaces the wet chemical approach. The measurement is based on the natural fluorescence of algae cells.

The measurement is fast and completed in less than 15 s. All that needs to be done is for the cable-free device to be turned on, dipped into the water and read.

The pigments of algae are spectrally excited subsequently by three coloured LEDs at high frequency. The algae emit red fluorescent light in response, and the intensity of the light is used for the calculation of the different algae types, ie, blue-greens and total microalgae. An encapsulated USB port enables data transfer to a PC.

For the input and operation of this algae quantifier, four contact keys are situated on the surface of the housing. A vibration alert indicates the start and completion of the measurement, with the remaining seconds being counted down on the display. Optional pressure and turbidity measurements are also available, which allow for the creation of a depth profile for algae concentration.

Applications for this algae reader include water quality analysis, bloom detection, toxicity alerts, and monitoring of dams, reservoirs, etc. The AlgaeTorch was recently used for a number of evaluations of algae blooms in the Murray River, which yielded positive comments, especially about its ease of use.

Phone: 03 9584 1133
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