Archive for September, 2013

PoolPro PS9TKA: MyronLMeters.com

Posted by 29 Sep, 2013

Tweet                  PoolPro gives you the most reliable, precise, affordable, multiparameter pool testing meter available for testing water quality in any pool or spa. Professional Analysis PoolPro is a comprehensive high performance tool designed to simplify pool and spa water quality control for the pool professional. Both PoolPro […]

Myron L PoolPro Ps9TKA

Myron L PoolPro Ps9TKA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PoolPro gives you the most reliable, precise, affordable, multiparameter pool testing meter available for testing water quality in any pool or spa.

Professional Analysis
PoolPro is a comprehensive high performance tool designed to simplify pool and spa water quality control for the pool professional. Both PoolPro models feature innovative user-friendly features and functions that make it easy to manage parameters critical to disinfection, water balance, system maintenance and compliance.

FAC Readings
The FCE function reports FAC quickly and accurately by measuring ORP, the chemical characteristic of chlorine that directly reflects its effectivity, cross referenced with pH. Both DPD kits and colorimeters may tell the user the FAC value of the sample in the test tube, but since the chemistry of that sample is quite different from the source water being analyzed, the results are imprecisely related to actual disinfection power. The FCE function measures the real, unaltered chemistry of source water, including moment-to-moment changes in that chemistry. FCE can be used for other types of oxidizing germicides and will track the effect of additives, such as cyanuric acid, that degrade chlorine effectivity without changing the actual concentration of free available chlorine present.

In-Cell Titration Functions
The PS9TKA adds the ability to perform in-cell conductometric titrations that provides a convenient way to determine alkalinity, hardness and LSI in the field. This eliminates the need to collect and transport samples to another location for analysis. User intuitive display prompts guide you through titration procedures from start to finish. All required reagents and equipment are included in the PS9 titration kit.

Water Balance Analysis
The PS9TKA features both an LSI Calculator and an LSI Titration measurement mode. The Calculator allows you to perform what-if scenarios to predict how changes in solution parameters would affect the water balance of a system. The titration measurement function allows you to accurately calculate a saturation index value of a specific solution to determine whether the solution is balanced, scaling or corrosive.

Hardness Unit Conversion
The Hardness and LSI Titrations and LSI Calculator functions allow you to set the hardness unit preference to either grains of hardness or ppm CaCO3 according to your needs.

System Validation & Calibration
Myron L’s PoolPro provides a fast, precise, easy-to-use method of obtaining Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP or REDOX) mV readings to check the true level of effectiveness of ALL sanitizers in any pool or spa. ORP objectively and precisely measures sanitizer ability to burn up, or oxidize, organic matter in the water. ORP can only be determined by an electronic instrument. PoolPro ORP mV readings serve as a necessary check to ensure automatic ORP control systems are working properly. PoolPro also provides independent readings for recalibration and to detect system failure.

Saltwater Chlorine Generation
PoolPro provides a convenient one-touch test for Mineral/Salt concentration. This is ideal for saltwater systems where manual testing with separate instrumentation is necessary to ensure the proper amount of sodium chloride is present for chlorine generation in quantities specified for microbial disinfection. PoolPro can also be used to recalibrate equipment as part of regular maintenance.

Wireless Benefits
The optional bluDock™ accessory package is an integrated data solution for your record keeping requirements, eliminating the need for additional hardware, wires and hassle. Because the user never touches the data, there is little opportunity for data tampering and human error. bluDock software has an easy to use interface with user intuitive functions for storing, sorting and exporting data.

PoolPro Advantages
PoolPro is lightweight, portable, buoyant, waterproof, easy-to-calibrate, and easy-to-use. Simply rinse and fill the cell cup by dipping the PoolPro in the water, then press the button of the parameter you wish to measure. You immediately get a standard, numerical digital readout — eliminating all subjectivity. And you can store up to 100 date-time-stamped readings in PoolPro’s non-volatile memory.

Myron L Meters
PoolMeter™ is a high quality analog instrument that measures TDS/NaCl/ Salt.  Myron L meters are so reliable, some have been in continuous use for over 45 years.

Categories : Case Studies & Application Stories, Product Updates

Myron L Meters for Hydroponics: MyronLMeters.com

Posted by 5 Sep, 2013

TweetFeatures • Handheld meters measure TDS and/or pH • Monitor measures TDS • All instruments are easy to operate and calibrate • High degree of accuracy • Immediate results • Kit comes with solutions required to calibrate • Temperature compensated readings TDS Monitoring The nutrient solution and its management are the foundation of a successful […]

Features

• Handheld meters measure TDS and/or pH
• Monitor measures TDS
• All instruments are easy to operate and calibrate
• High degree of accuracy
• Immediate results
• Kit comes with solutions required to calibrate
• Temperature compensated readings

TDS Monitoring

The nutrient solution and its management are the foundation of a successful hydroponics system. The function of a hydroponics nutrient solution is to supply the plant roots with water, oxygen and essential mineral elements in soluble form.

A test of the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) using the DS Meter or pDS Meter or continuous monitoring with the HYDRO-STIK gives the grower accurate measurements of the concentration of nutrients in solution. If the concentration drops below the optimum level required to sustain and grow the plants, add more nutrient- rich solution until the desired concentration level is achieved. This prevents haphazard dosing and wasted solution, which minimizes costs to the grower.

pH Monitoring

pH of the nutrient solution is also critical to successful plant growth. All elements have a specific solubility pH range. This means that mineral elements dissolve and can become more concentrated in solution within certain pH ranges. Roots absorb only the dissolved nutrients, so this is critical to plant growth.
The TH1H and the pDS Meter quickly and easily measure pH.

Monitoring the addition of a pH balancing solution with the proper meter lets the grower precisely adjust the pH level.

Beyond affecting nutrient availability, extremely low or high pH can even damage or kill plants.

All Myron L TDS and pH meters give lab-accurate results in the field.

All Myron L meters use advanced Temperature Compensation (TC) circuitry and equations to give you the best TC correction available.

Ultrapen PT2 pH and Temperature Pen

Ultrapen PT2 pH and Temperature Pen

Ultrapen PT1 TDS Pen

Ultrapen PT1 TDS Pen

T6/pH TDS and pH Meter

T6/pH TDS and pH Meter

Techpro II - TPH1 TDS, pH, Conductivity, Temperature

Techpro II – TPH1 TDS, pH, Conductivity, Temperature

PSTK Soil Test Kit

PSTK Soil Test Kit

 

 

Categories : Application Advice

Measurement of Free Chlorine Disinfecting Power in a Handheld Instrument: MyronLMeters.com

Posted by 4 Sep, 2013

TweetINTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW The most popular germicide used in water treatment is chlorine, which kills bacteria by way of its power as an oxidizing agent. Chlorine is used not only as a primary disinfectant at the beginning of the treatment process, but also at the end to establish a residual level of disinfection during distribution […]

INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
The most popular germicide used in water treatment is chlorine, which kills bacteria by way of its power as an oxidizing agent. Chlorine is used not only as a primary disinfectant at the beginning of the treatment process, but also at the end to establish a residual level of disinfection during distribution as a guard against future contamination.
The most popular field test instruments and test systems for judging the level of residual chlorine, also called Free Available Chlorine (FAC), are based on colorimetric methods whereby dyeing agents are added to the sample being tested. These additives react to FAC causing a color change in the test sample. While they may detect the presence of FAC, they do not directly measure the electrochemical characteristic of FAC responsible for its disinfecting power: Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP). They give an incomplete and sometimes misleading picture of sanitizing strength. These methods have gained industry-wide acceptance. Unfortunately, so have the weaknesses and inaccuracies inherent to them.
The Free Chlorine Equivalent (FCE) feature avoids these pitfalls by directly measuring ORP, the germ-killing property of chlorine and other oxidizing germicides. It displays both the ORP reading (in millivolts DC) for the sample being tested as well as an equivalent free chlorine concentration in familiar ppm (parts per million). It accounts for the very significant effect of changing pH on chlorine sanitizing power; can be used for other types of oxidizing germicides and; will track the effect of additives, such as cyanuric acid, that degrade chlorine effectivity without changing the actual concentration of free available chlorine present.

CHLORINATION BASICS
NaOCl, common household bleach (5.3% NaOCl by weight) is the most popular chlorinating agent in use today. When added to water it hydrolyzes as:
NaOCl + H2O  HOCl + Na+ + OH-
Sodium hypochlorite Water Hypochlorous acid Sodium ion Hydroxide

Additionally, some of the HOCl dissociates into H+ and OCl-:
HOCl  H+ + OCl-
Hypochlorous acid hydrogen ion hypochlorite ion

Both HOCl and OCl- are oxidants and effective germicides, particularly against bacteria and viruses, with some effectivity against protozoa and endospores. HOCl is the stronger and more effective of the two species.

Chlorine Demand
When chlorine is added to water, not all of it is available to act against future contaminates. Some is deactivated by sunlight. Some is consumed by reactions with other chemicals in the water or by out-gassing as Cl2. More commonly, it is used up directly by disinfection of the pathogens already
present in the water or by combining with ammonia (NH3) and ammonium (NH4+) (byproducts of living bacteria) to form various chloramine compounds.
Chlorine Demand is the amount of chlorine in solution that is used up or inactivated after a period of time and therefore not available as a germicide.

Free Available Chlorine
Free Available Chlorine (FAC) is any residual chlorine that is available, after the chlorine demand is met, to react with new sources of bacteria or other contaminants. According to White’s Handbook of Chlorination and Alternative Disinfectants, 5th edition, this is the sum of the all of the chemical species that contain a chlorine atom in the 0 or +1 oxidation state and are not combined with ammonia or other organic nitrogen. Some species of FAC that might be present are:
• Molecular chlorine: Cl2
• Hypochlorous acid: HOCl
• Hypochlorite: OCl-
• Trichoride: Cl3- a complex formed by molecular chlorine and the chloride ions (Cl-)

In most applications the two most common species of free chlorine will be HOCl and OCl-. Much of the Cl2 will hydrolyze into HOCl that, depending on pH, will stay in the form of HOCl or partially dissociate into OCl-. Cl3- is very unstable and only trace amounts will be present. In fact, in most of the literature describing chlorination and the monitoring of chlorine residuals, free chlorine is considered to be the sum of HOCl and OCl-.

Chlorine dioxide, ClO2, is another chlorine derivative used in some public water supplies as a disinfectant. It is 10 times more soluble in water than chlorine and doesn’t hydrolyze into HOCl or dissociate into OCl-. In the absence of oxidizable substances and in the presence of hydroxyl ions, ClO2 will dissolve in water then decompose slowly forming chlorite ions (ClO2-) and chlorate ions (ClO3-), both of which are oxidants fitting White’s definition of free chlorine.

All other things being stable (temperature, pH, etc.), ORP values are related to FAC concentration levels. As the concentration of FAC in solution rises or falls, regardless of the species (HOCl, OCl-, ClO2-, ClO3- or Cl3-), the ORP value does, as well.

Combined and Total Chlorine
The term Combined Chlorine usually refers to residual chlorine that has combined with NH3 or NH4+ to form monochloramine (NH2Cl),
dichloramine (NHCl2) or trichloramine (NCl3). Combined chlorine is noteworthy here because chloramines are oxidizers and are used as germicides, though their reduction potential and therefore, disinfecting power is lower than other species of chlorine, such as HOCl, OCl- or ClO2.
Total chlorine is the sum of FAC and Combined Chlorine. An advantage of ORP-based systems is
that the aggregate ORP value of the water being tested includes the ORP levels contributed by all oxidizers, including chloramines. Therefore, ORP- based measurements automatically take into account Total Chlorine and can readily be used to judge total sanitizing strength.

Chlorine as an Oxidizing Germicide
Both HOCl and OCl- are oxidants and as such their effectivity as germicides can be determined using
ORP measurements. The cytoplasm and proteins in the cell walls of many harmful microbes are negatively charged (they have extra electrons). Any oxidant that comes into contact with the organism will gain electrons at the expense of the proteins, denaturing those proteins and killing the organism.
When enough chlorine is added to water to reach an ORP value of 650mV to 700mV, bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella can be killed after only 30 seconds of exposure. Many yeast species and fungi can be killed with exposure of only a few minutes. Even ORP values of 350mV to 500mV indicate effective levels of chlorination with satisfactory microbe kill levels, although exposure times are required to be in the minutes rather than seconds.

The Importance of pH
pH significantly changes relative effectiveness of chlorine as a disinfectant. Different species of chlorine ions are more prevalent at different pH levels. Under typical water treatment conditions in the pH range 6–9, HOCl and OCl- are the main chlorine species. Depending on pH level, the ratio of these two free chlorine species changes.

Figure 1

Figure 1 – Distribution of Free Chlorine Species in Aqueous Solutions

Figure 1 shows that chlorine hydrolysis into HOCl is almost complete at pH ≤ 4. Dissociation of HOCl into OCl- begins around 5.5 pH and increases dramatically thereafter2. This is important because HOCl and OCl- do not have the same effectivity as disinfectants. HOCl can be 80-100% more effective as a disinfectant than OCl-. Optimum disinfection occurs at pH 5 to 6.5 where HOCl is the prevailing species of free chlorine present. As pH rises above that level, the ratio shifts towards being primarily OCl-. At pH 7.5 the ratio is about even. When the pH value rises to 8 or higher, OCl- is the dominant species. Therefore, assuming the concentration of Cl2 species is constant, the higher the pH of the solution rises above 5.5, the lower the oxidation capability and disinfecting power of the FAC.

The bottom line is knowing the concentration of FAC ions in a solution without taking pH into account can give an incomplete and sometimes incorrect picture of disinfecting power.

WHY A CHANGE IS NEEDED

The Problem with Colorimetric Testing
First and foremost, colorimetric tests only report how much chlorine is present, and as we saw in the previous section, knowing “how much” is not at all the same as knowing “how effective”.
Colorimeters and DPD kits add a reagent or several reagents to the water being tested that causes a color change representing the amount of FAC in water. In fact, they fundamentally change the chemistry of the water just to get an easy measurement.

The most obvious change is related to pH. The typical reagent/dye used in the process forces the pH of the sample to a specific level, usually 6.5 pH and thus radically alters the HOCl to OCl- ratio. If the original sample was at a pH of 7.4 to 7.6 (suggested levels for pools and spas) about 50% of the FAC present would be in the form of HOCl. At a pH of 6.5 this ratio rises to nearly 90%. While the actual concentration of FAC may be correct, a fact entirely overlooked is that the FAC in the source water includes about 40% of the much weaker sanitizing OCl-.

If that were the only change being made to the chemistry of the sample, it would be severe enough.

Figure 2 shows the result of a comparison test made using a UV spectrophotometer on two samples of water. Both were taken from a master water sample containing 5 ppm Cl2 prepared using a closed system that ensured no other oxidants or interferants were present. One was processed using a colorimeter reagent according to its operator’s manual instructions. The other was left untreated.

Figure 2

Figure 2: Chemical Alteration of Chlorinated Water by Colorimeter Additives

UV spectrophotometric analysis shows how dramatically the chemistry of the sample was changed by the addition of the colorimeter’s coloring reagent.
• The shift in the center of the spike indicates that the species of chlorine present has been altered. What was OCl- is now some other chemical species.
• The amplitude of the spike demonstrates how severely the amount of chlorine has been amplified.
• The absorption spectra where OCl- used to be is significantly depressed.

Because the area of UV absorption spectra where any OCl- would appear is so depressed, it is clear that a radical alteration is taking place above and
beyond simply changing the pH. The “ppm” value reported for the chlorine content of the water seems to be converted to a single species whose
concentration is significantly higher than the original OCl- content.

Even assuming a linear relationship between this altered chemistry and the original FAC content of the water that might be factored into the final colorimetric measurement, by completely divorcing the measurement from the pH of the source water, any direct correlation to the reduction potential of the FAC present and, therefore, real disinfecting power, is lost.

ORP = DISINFECTING POWER
What is ORP?
ORP is the acronym for Oxidation Reduction (REDOX) Potential. It is a differential measurement of the mV potentials built up between two electrodes exposed to solutions containing oxidants and/or reductants. ORP describes the net magnitude and direction of the flow of electrons between pairs of chemical species, called REDOX pairs. In REDOX reactions, one chemical of the pair loses electrons while the other chemical gains electrons. The chemicals that acquire electrons are called the oxidants (HOCl, OCl-, ClO2, bromine, hydrogen peroxide, etc.). The chemicals that give up electrons are called the reductants (Li, Mg2+, Fe2+, Cr, etc.).

Oxidants acquire electrons through the process of reduction, i.e., they are reduced. Reductants lose their electrons through the process of oxidation, i.e., they become oxidized.

How is ORP Measured?
ORP sensors are basically two electrochemical half- cells: A measurement electrode in contact with the solution being measured and a reference electrode in contact with an isolated reservoir of highly concentrated salt solution. When the solution being measured has a high concentration of oxidizers, it accepts more electrons than it looses and the measurement electrode develops a higher electrical potential than the stable potential of the reference electrode. A voltmeter in line with the two electrodes will display this difference in electrical potential (reported in mV). Once the entire system reaches equilibrium, the resulting net potential difference represents the Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP). A positive reading indicates an oxidizing solution, and a negative reading indicates a reducing solution. More positive or negative values mean the oxidants or reductants present are stronger, they are present in higher concentrations or both.

What Does ORP Measure?
Measuring ORP is the most direct way to determine the efficacy of oxidizing disinfectants in aqueous solutions. It measures the actual chemical mechanism by which oxidizers, like chlorine, kill bacteria and viruses. The higher the ORP value, the stronger the aggregate residual oxidizing power of the solution, the more aggressively the oxidants in it will take electrons from the cells of microbes and, therefore, the more efficiently and effectively any source of new microbial contamination will be neutralized.
Also, because ORP measures the total reduction potential of a solution, ORP measures the total efficacy of all oxidizing sanitizers in solution: hypochlorous acid, hypochlorite, monochloramine, dichloramine, hypobromous acid, ozone, peracetic acid, bromochlorodimethylhydantoin, etc.

Can ORP Replace Free Chlorine Measurements?
Yes.
When correlated with known disinfection control methods, measurements and bacterial plate counts, this type of measurement gives an accurate picture of the residual chlorine sanitizing activity reported as an empirical number that is not subject to visual interpretations. Solutions with certain ORP levels kill microbes at a certain rate. Period!
ORP was first studied at Harvard University in the 1930s as a method for measuring and monitoring microbial disinfection. It has been advocated as the best way to judge residual disinfecting power of chlorinated water by water quality experts since the 1960s. ORP has long been used in bathing waters as the only means for automatic chemical dosing. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests an initial ORP value of between 680-720 mV for safe bathing water3 and ~800 mV for safe drinking water.
For the purpose of pretreatment screening to detect chlorine levels prior to contact with chlorine- sensitive RO membranes, some manufacturers of RO membranes and other water quality treatment equipment will also specify an ORP tolerance value for prescreening and influent control.

There are, however, applications where reporting residual disinfecting power in terms of FAC concentrations is preferred and sometimes required. While ORP measurements do not directly measure the concentration of FAC, they can be correlated to free chlorine levels in ppm. Variables such as pH and temperature must be accounted for or controlled. Interfering chemicals that might be present, such as other oxidants or reductants, must also be accounted for, or better yet, removed.

Once all these factors are known or controlled, ORP values can be linked to concentrations either by way of laboratory experimentation or via mathematical formulas like the Nernst Equation, an equation that describes the relationship between the electrode potential of a specific chemical in a solution and its concentration. In either case this is an often complex and laborious process … until now.

FCE = HANDHELD ORP ACCURACY
ORP Relevance in a Handheld Instrument
The Myron L Company has developed an innovative method for using ORP-based measurement to directly monitor the disinfecting power of free chlorine and report the result in both familiar ppm units as well as straight ORP mV values.

Myron L Company’s FCE function utilizes the accurate and reliable electronic design of Myron L Company’s instruments combined with simple one- button operation to make ORP-based chlorine measurement available in an easy-to-use, handheld field instrument. Other handheld instruments may measure ORP, but only a Myron L Company instrument equipped with FCE quickly correlates ORP and pH with FAC concentration. The FCE function also includes a predictive algorithm that extrapolates a final, stable ORP value of a solution without waiting out the long response time of the typical ORP sensor.

When the FCE function is active, the instrument display alternates between the Predicative ORP reading (mV) and the Free Chlorine Equivalent (FCE) concentration (ppm). Together these features combine to make ORP-based free chlorine measurement relevant in a handheld field instrument.

FCE – How and Why it Works
The Myron L Company FCE feature cross-references ORP values with pH levels to automatically arrive at a concentration value for FAC that reflects the effect of pH on the ratio of HOCl to OCl-. This correlation is derived from a series of experiments in which exact amounts of chlorine (in the form of laboratory grade bleach: 5% NaOCl; 95% H2O) were added to deionized water in a closed system, thus controlling and excluding possible interferants. By using both a pH measurement and an ORP measurement, FCE can determine the relative contributions of HOCl and OCl- to the final ORP value and factors them into a final concentration calculation.

Figure 3

Figure 3 – Sample Experimental Data Relating FAC ppm to ORP and pH

Similar experiments were performed using water to which precise amounts of calcium chloride (CaCl2) and sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) were added to slightly buffer the water. This allows the FC feature to correlate low ORP values to the typically low FAC concentrations of tap water after it has been in the municipal water system for several days.

FCE – pH Included, Not Ignored
Unlike other FAC test methods that ignore the effect of pH on sanitizing power by artificially forcing the pH of their test sample to a single value, Myron L Company’s FCE includes pH in its concentration calculation. This capability gives Myron L Company’s FCE the ability to compensate for the effect of the changing ratio of chlorine species as pH
changes, resulting in a FAC concentration value germane to the actual sanitizing power of the source water. OCl- is measured as OCl-, and HOCl is measured as HOCl. Those users who are primarily concerned with or who prefer free chlorine concentration levels have a reliable measurement that gives consistent and comparable results, reading to reading, without having to rigorously control or artificially manipulate the sample’s pH.

In addition, because the FCE function displays both the FAC concentration and a predicted, stable ORP value, the user can, by comparing these two values from successive measurements, track how ORP (and disinfecting power) falls as pH rises and how ORP rises as pH is lowered when concentration is constant.

FCE – Chemistry Measured, Not Altered
Both DPD kits and colorimeters may tell the user the FAC concentration of the sample in the test tube, but since the chemistry of that sample is quite different from the source water being analyzed, the results are imprecisely related to actual disinfection power.

DPD kits and colorimeters only imply true disinfecting power; they do not measure it, and that is, after all, the whole point of the exercise.

The Myron L Company FCE method avoids these pitfalls and inaccuracies. FCE measures the real, unaltered chemistry of source water, including moment-to-moment changes in that chemistry.
The following controlled study shows exactly how differently the two methods respond, particularly at the high end where the effects of changes in pH are the greatest. In this study measurements were made with a digital colorimeter and a Myron L Company Ultrameter II 6P equipped with FCE. The solutions tested were made with various known concentrations of NaOCl in deionized water. The water was heated to above 80°C to remove any CO2 and, therefore, avoid interference from REDOX reactions between HOCL, OCl- and carbonates (HCO3).

Table 1

Table 1 – Comparison of FCE to Digital Colorimeter

In this study as the pH rises and the ratio of OCl- to HOCL rises dramatically, the FCE is able to accurately track the changing concentration of FAC. The colorimeter’s results do not.

FCE – Handheld ORP Accuracy Without the ORP Delay
One of the challenges in implementing an ORP- based free chlorine measurement in a handheld field instrument is the sometimes lengthy response time of ORP sensors. It is not uncommon for an ORP sensor to take 12 to 15 minutes to arrive at a valid stable reading. In extreme cases, such as an older sensor in poor condition and measuring a complex solution with a very low ionic strength, the ORP measurement can take up to an hour to fully stabilize. Obviously, for a handheld instrument these are unacceptably long times.

The Myron L Company FCE function includes a pioneering feature that dramatically reduces the wait for stable ORP readings. This unique feature determines an extrapolated, final, stabilized ORP reading within 1 to 2 minutes rather than the typical 15 minutes or hours for other ORP systems.

The Predictive ORP feature’s calculations are based on a model of sensor behavior developed through a series of experiments that measured the response time of a representative sample of ORP sensors over a range of controlled chlorine concentrations. The results of this set of experiments revealed that the shape of the curve is very similar for various ORP levels differing only in the initial starting point and the final stabilized reading.

Figure 4

Figure 4 – Example of ORP Sensor Response Study

Using a proprietary curve-matching algorithm, the Predictive ORP feature determines what point along the typical sensor response curve a measurement occurred and extrapolates an appropriate final reading. This extrapolated value is used to calculate the FCE ppm value without having to wait for the sensor to stabilize and is also reported directly to the instrument’s display.

FCE – FLEXIBILITY FOR THE REAL WORLD
Another advantage of an ORP-based measurement such as the Myron L Company FCE feature is that, within the limits of its range, it can be used to measure the disinfection effectivity of ANY oxidizing germicide. Myron L Company FCE measurement can be used with non-bleach oxidants, such as chloramines or even non-chlorine oxidants, such as peracetic acid, bromine or iodine.
The Predictive ORP value displayed when the FCE function is active is directly relevant for monitoring and controlling the sanitizing effectivity of oxidizing sanitizers besides HOCl and OCl-.
While the concentration values reported by the FCE function will not be absolutely correct for non-FAC oxidants, since they are based on a HOCl / OCl- model, FCE can still be an effective tool for monitoring relative changes in concentration levels. For absolute accuracy a correlative study should be performed to relate concentration levels of the oxidant in question to the ORP values displayed by the Predictive ORP feature and ppm values output by the FCE.

FCE = Effective Chloramine Control
A perfect example of the Myron L Company FCE ‘s flexibility is the use of chloramines as a germicide.
Chloramines are formed when chlorine (Cl2) and ammonia (NH3) come into contact, forming three different inorganic chemicals: monochloramine (NH2Cl), dichloramine (NHCl2) and trichloramine (NCl3). In some applications chloramines are considered an unavoidable side effect of the chlorination process; however, because they are also oxidants, there are other applications where they are used as the primary disinfectant in water treatment.

Chloramines are effective at killing bacteria and other microorganisms, but because their relative ORP levels are lower compared to HOCl or OCl- at the same concentrations, the disinfection process is slower.

Table 2

Table 2 – Electrode Potentials of Chloramines vs. HOCl

On the plus side, chloramines last longer than HOCl and OCl- (as long as 23 days in some cases), impart a less strong flavor or smell and their sanitizing
strength is not appreciably affected by changing pH.

Most importantly, chloramine-based water treatment methods produce much fewer hazardous byproducts. The US EPA limits the total concentration of the four chief hazardous byproducts of chlorination (chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane, and dibromochloromethane), referred to as total trihalomethanes (TTHM), to 80 parts per billion in treated water. To avoid exceeding theses standards, many municipal water districts prefer using chloramine rather than chlorine.

The following table shows typical ORP values for various concentrations of monochloramine (NH2Cl).

Table 3

Table 3 – ORP Values for NH2Cl in Pure Water

When ORP levels of NH2Cl approach and exceed 500 mV, effective sanitization occurs with exposure times of 20 to 30 minutes. This is more than adequate for municipal water treatment.
Since Myron L Company FCE function bases its measurement on ORP, it presents an empirical, easy to interpret measurement, both in terms of the Predictive ORP display and the FAC equivalent concentration, allowing the user to monitor falling chloramine concentration as disinfection proceeds.

FCE and Cyanuric Acid (CYA) – Don’t Guess. Know!
Outdoor pool maintenance is a prime application where ORP-based chlorine measurement should be preferred. The use of chlorine to sanitize pools runs afoul of the fact that much of the chlorine added to an outdoor pool is deactivated by exposure to UV radiation in sunlight.

Cyanuric Acid (CYA) is often added to the pool water to “protect” FAC. In a typical pool at 7.6 pH about 50% of the FAC is OCl-, which reacts to UV radiation that passes through the Earth’s ozone layer (290nm). CYA combines with FAC to form N-chlorinated-cyanurates, which only react to UV radiation (215nm to 235nm) removed by the Earth’s ozone layer. Since N-chlorinated-cyanurates are also oxidizers, they also act as germicides. Unfortunately, they have much lower reduction potentials and, therefore, a much lower strength as a germicide.

Figure 5

Figure 5 – Effect of Cyanuric Acid on Chlorine ORP Values

Pool maintenance websites that advocate the use of cyanuric acid (not all of them do) often recommend levels of 40 to 80 ppm. Figure 5 shows how severely ORP and disinfecting power are affected by CYA.

The addition of only 20 ppm CYA decreases the pool water’s ORP 120 mV, reducing the effectivity of FAC from 1.5 ppm to an effectivity that is equivalent to only 0.3 ppm. Adding 40 ppm, or worse, 80 ppm, reduces sanitizing strength even more severely. This is definitely a case where more is not better.
A 1972 study on water chlorination showed that water treated with enough chlorine to kill 100% of the E. coli present in 3 minutes or less required almost 6 times as much chlorine be added for the same effect when 50 ppm of CYA was added.

Cyanuric acid beneficially affects pool chlorination by greatly reducing that portion of chlorine demand related to loss due to UV. Unfortunately, if you are using a colorimeter or DPD kit, it will tell you that your FAC concentration is unchanged and significantly misrepresent sanitizing strength
The Myron L Company FCE function’s ability to react to changes in ORP makes it an ideal tool for keeping track of how CYA affects residual sanitizing power when added to a chlorinated pool. The Predicative ORP display provides a direct and effective way to monitor changes in ORP values as CYA concentration increases. Because the FCE ppm
display reacts to changes in ORP and pH, it will reflect changes in the sanitizing strength as an “equivalent” or “effective” FAC concentration.

SUMMARY
Judging the true effectivity of chlorine as an oxidizing germicide requires more than just knowing how much chlorine is present. Changing pH or the addition of additives like cyanuric acid can radically alter the effectivity of the chlorine present. To accurately measure the effects of these issues requires a test method based on the precise measurement of ORP (the chemical characteristic directly responsible for killing microbes like bacteria and viruses) and cross-referenced to pH.

The Myron L Company FCE is the first measurement function that allows handheld, field instruments to integrate ORP and pH measurements into a system for monitoring the residual disinfecting power of free available chlorine in aqueous solutions.

• It provides an empirical measurement that does not require interpretation.
• It is not affected by water color or turbidity.
• It measures the true chemistry of the water, unaltered.
• It accounts for changes in pH.
• It reports the effects of CYA on disinfecting power.
• It can be used to monitor non-chlorine oxidants.

Myron L Meters features the Myron L FCE function in several instruments that read free chlorine – the Ultrameter II 6P, the Ultrameter III 9P, the PoolPro PS9 and PS6 models, and the
new Ultrapen PT4, soon to be released.

Categories : Science and Industry Updates, Technical Tips

pH Sensor Technical Reference: MyronLMeters.com

Posted by 3 Sep, 2013

Tweet What is pH? Definition: pH is the negative logarithm of hydrogen ion activity in a solution. The Concentration ratio of hydrogen ions (H+) and hydroxyl ions (OH-) determine the pH value of a solution. Any hydrogen activity will produce a 59.16 mV/ pH unit across the glass membrane. The measurement is expressed on a […]

pH Sensor
What is pH?

Definition: pH is the negative logarithm of hydrogen ion activity in a solution.

The Concentration ratio of hydrogen ions (H+) and hydroxyl ions (OH-) determine the pH value of a solution. Any hydrogen activity will produce a 59.16 mV/ pH unit across the glass membrane. The measurement is expressed on a scale of 0.0 to 14.0. Water with a pH of 7 is considered neutral (H+ ions = 10-7 and OH-
ions =10-7). A solution is considered acidic when the hydrogen ions (H+) exceed the hydroxyl ions (OH-), and a solution is considered an alkaline (base) when the hydroxyl ions (OH-) exceed Hydrogen ions (H+).

How is pH measured?
A pH instrument consists of three main components, refer to Figure 1.

1. The pH measuring cell: Hydrogen sensitive glass is blown onto the end of an inert glass stem.
A silver wire, treated with silver chloride (Ag/AgCl) is sealed inside the glass (cell) with a solution of potassium chloride saturated with Silver chloride.

The measuring solution has a neutral pH level of 7 or 0 mV. A properly hydrated glass sensor will produce a “Gel Layer” on the inside and outside of the glass membrane. The “Gel Layer” enables hydrogen ions to develop an electrical potential
across the pH glass sensor; a millivolt signal varies with hydrogen ion activity on the glass membrane while submerged in the solution being tested.

1. The Reference cell: A silver wire treated with silver chloride (Ag/AgCl) is sealed inside an inert glass housing (cell) with a solution of potassium chloride saturated with silver chloride. The inert glass prevents hydrogen ion activity from test solutions to influence the reference cells constant millivolt signal. The combination of the reference electrode silver- silver chloride wire, and the saturated potassium chloride solution develops a constant 199-millivolt reference signal. The millivolt signal produced inside the reference electrode does not vary as long as the chloride concentration remains constant. The reference voltage is used as a baseline to compare variations or changes in the solution being tested. The reference cell is in contact with the test solution through a reference junction that is commonly made of porous Teflon®*‚ ceramic, or a wick type material called a Pelon strip. This junction completes the measuring circuit of the pH sensor.

2. Display meter: When the pH sensor is placed in a solution, the pH-measuring cell develops a millivolt signal that reflects the hydrogen ion activity of the test solution. A high impedance meter accurately measures the small millivolt changes and displays the results in pH units on either an analog meter or digital display.

Temperature considerations:
The pH glass membrane is sensitive to the temperatures of solutions being tested. Prolonged use and/or exposure to temperatures (above 35°C) will accelerate the aging, and increase chemical attack
to the glass membrane which will shorten the overall service life of the sensor.

ELEVATED TEMPERATURES WILL SHORTEN THE SERVICE LIFE OF A pH SENSOR.

Increase temperatures also decreases the impedance of the glass membrane. The decrease of the impedance affects the millivolt output of glass membrane.
Temperature changes close to neutral (pH 7) usually do not affect pH levels; however, when levels are
< pH 3 and > pH 11 a dramatic error may occur. This problem is resolved using a built in ATC (Automatic Temperature compensation) which uses a mathematical formula (Nernst equation) to correct pH errors due to temperature factors.

Other factors that affect the life of a sensor Because standard glass electrodes are manufactured using a silver/silver chloride electrode inserted into
a potassium chloride/silver chloride solution, the following list of solutions cause the reference solution to precipitate. If the following solutions are tested, it is recommended that the pH sensor well be thoroughly rinsed. The testing of these solutions will severely reduce the service life of the pH sensor.

1. Heavy metals – silver, iron, and lead
2. Proteins
3. Low ion solutions – distilled water
4. High sodium concentrates
5. Sulfides
6. Fluorides (In high concentrations or prolonged use)

Note: This is not a complete list of solutions that can cause the reference solution to precipitate.

Sodium ion error

As solutions approach, and exceed the pH level of 12.0 the high concentration of sodium ions interfere with the standard glass membrane and cause pH levels to be displayed lower than actual pH levels. If solutions being tested are normally high alkaline, (>12 pH) a probe manufactured with special glass may be required. The special glass may be used throughout the pH range of 0 to 14, but due to the high resistance nature of the glass it will significantly increase the overall time to analyze a sample. Constant use in solutions with pH levels higher than 12 will reduce the life of the probe.

Calibration

The break down of the pH sensor electrodes and the depletion, and/or saturation of the reference solution require your pH instrument to be re-calibrated. This should normally be performed twice a month, but depending on the actual use of the instrument it may be necessary to increase the intervals between calibrations.

Refer to your operations manual or to Myron L Meters video page for detailed instructions on your specific instrument calibration procedures. The calibration should be performed using at least two pH buffer standards. The initial calibration should use Myron L pH buffer solution 7. This will check and allow the instrument to be adjusted so its output reflects 0 millivolts, neutral, or pH 7. A second calibration using a standard solution that reflects the normal range of solutions being analyzed. If acidic solutions are normally tested, a pH buffer solution 4 should be used. If solutions to be tested are normally alkaline, a pH buffer solution 10 should be used. It is not necessary to calibrate your instrument over three standards (4, 7, and 10) unless during normal daily use of the instrument, the solutions being tested varies from low to high pH ranges. In
this case an increase of calibration intervals is also recommended.

How to maximize the life of your pH or pH/ORP sensor

Myron L uses a general-purpose glass pH sensor. This glass sensor may be used in most applications. To ensure maximum life of your Myron L pH test instruments, the following information should be considered whether you are a distributor or an end user. Most premature pH sensor failures can be prevented with a few maintenance procedures. The following procedures should be performed after using your Myron L meter, or if you plan to store your meter for an extended period of time.

1. The pH sensor well (fig 1) must be filled with
Myron L storage solution (preferred) or Myron L pH buffer 4, or tap water with table salt added and its protective cap (with foam insert) firmly installed.
Failure to do so will:
• Allow the glass membrane to dry out. A de- hydrated glass membrane will not produce the necessary “Gel layer” on the sensor surface, which is essential to allow the exchange of hydrogen ions (measure pH).
• Allow airborne contaminants to settle on the glass membrane surface. Once contaminants dry onto the surface of the glass membrane, it will inhibit the transfer of hydrogen ions. (See factory approved cleaning process below.)
• Allow the reference junction to dry out. The reference junction material is usually a wick or fiber type material that completes the electrical circuit between the reference electrode cell
and the solution being tested. Dehydration causes the reference solution to leach out of the electrode cavity, and form crystals in the junction. This is normally referred to as the “Bridging effect”.
Repeated dehydration of the pH or pH/ORP sensor will cause the instrument to have a slower response time, and be more difficult to calibrate. Dehydration will
significantly reduce the normal service life of the sensor.

2. Store spare pH or pH/ORP sensors in a refrigerator. “Do not Freeze”. Take proper precautions not to allow the temperature to fall below freezing. This
will cause the solution to expand and may damage the electrodes inside the sensor. Storage in a refrigerated environment will slow the evaporation of the storage solution, but not prevent evaporation. Always inspect and replace storage solution in spare sensor well on a regular basis.
Note: When using the Myron L storage solution, it is common for white crystal formations to form around the seal of the pH sensor well and protective cap; this is a normal occurrence as the solution evaporates. Never store the sensor in high purity water (distilled or de-ionized).
Approved factory cleaning process

Figure 1

Failure to do so will:
• Allow the glass membrane to dry out. A de- hydrated glass membrane will not produce the necessary “Gel layer” on the sensor surface, which is essential to allow the exchange of hydrogen ions (measure pH).
• Allow airborne contaminants to settle on the glass membrane surface. Once contaminants dry onto the surface of the glass membrane, it will inhibit the transfer of hydrogen ions. (See factory approved cleaning process below.)
• Allow the reference junction to dry out. The reference junction material is usually a wick or fiber type material that completes the electrical circuit between the reference electrode cell
and the solution being tested. Dehydration causes the reference solution to leach out of the electrode cavity, and form crystals in the junction. This is normally referred to as the “Bridging effect”.
Repeated dehydration of the pH or pH/ORP sensor will cause the instrument to have a slower response time, and be more difficult to calibrate. Dehydration will
significantly reduce the normal service life of the sensor.

2. Store spare pH or pH/ORP sensors in a refrigerator. “Do not Freeze”. Take proper precautions not to allow the temperature to fall below freezing. This
will cause the solution to expand and may damage the electrodes inside the sensor. Storage in a refrigerated environment will slow the evaporation of the storage solution, but not prevent evaporation. Always inspect and replace storage solution in spare sensor well on a regular basis.
Note: When using the Myron L storage solution, it is common for white crystal formations to form around the seal of the pH sensor well and protective cap; this is a normal occurrence as the solution evaporates. Never store the sensor in high purity water (distilled or de-ionized).

Approved factory cleaning process for the pH sensor
During normal use of your Myron L handheld pH or pH/ORP meter, you’ll have to clean your pH sensor bulb. The cleaning is necessary because of deposits left on the sensor from the test samples.
If you suspect your instrument is inaccurate, or the display value drifts, or the response is slow and sluggish, try the following.
Rinse the sensor well (three times) and fill with pH buffer 4 solution. If the pH continues to drift below the pH 4 level (i.e. 3, 2, or 1) repeat the test using pH buffer 10. If the pH level drifts beyond the pH level of 10 (i.e. 11, 12 etc.) follow the cleaning procedure outlined below.
If the pH levels of the buffer solutions 4 and 10 actually drift towards pH 7, this could mean that the pH sensor is damaged and needs to be replaced.

Caution: Wear proper eye protection and gloves during the cleaning procedure.

The following procedures may help clean and recover the pH or pH/ORP sensors.

NOTE: Not all pH or pH/ORP sensors can be recovered.
1. Fill the pH/ORP sensor well with 100% Isopropyl alcohol. If not available use additive- free rubbing alcohol (70%). This will remove any oils.
2. Allow the sensor to soak for 10 minutes.
3. Rinse with RO or DI water.
4. Rinse the sensor well (three times) and fill
with Myron L storage solution or Myron L pH buffer 4. Replace the protective cap and allow the sensor to recover overnight.
5. Re-calibrate the instrument according to the Myron L instruction manual that was provided with your instrument. If the instrument fails to calibrate properly, continue to the next step.

If the above procedure does not recover the pH sensor function, perform the following:
1. Fill the pH or pH/ORP sensor well with a hot salt solution 60°C (140°F) potassium chloride (KCI preferred) or hot tap water with table salt (NaCl). Allow the solution to cool.
2. Re-calibrate the instrument according to the Myron L instruction manual that was provided with your instrument. If the instrument fails to calibrate properly, the pH or pH/ORP sensor must be replaced.

Warranty
The manufacturer warrants the pH and pH/ORP sensor assemblies against manufacturer defects. Shelf life for most pH and ORP sensors is 12 months. Failure to maintain proper hydration of the glass pH sensors or the use of the instrument in any manner not described in the operation manual supplied with the instrument may shorten the life of the sensor.
*CAUTION: If you do not use your Myron L instrument on a regular basis or if you are a stocking distributor, the storage solution in the pH or pH/ORP sensor well will evaporate over time and must be replenished. To prevent premature pH glass sensor failure, the manufacturer suggests a preventative maintenance program. Failure to do so could void the factory warranty. The use of liquids containing high levels of solvents, such as acetone, xylene, and chlorinated hydrocarbons, or other harsh chemicals in your Myron L meter is not recommended. Doing so may damage the sensor.

Categories : Care and Maintenance, Technical Tips