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Innovative electrodes to control trace metal ionization used to treat Legionella and other pathogens in water distribution systems


One of the most effective methods for the abatement and prevention of Legionella and other hazardous pathogens in water is copper-silver ionization. This method is based on channelling water through a device that applies low potential electricity to copper and silver electrodes, releasing Cu and Ag ions which kill the bacteria. Currently there is no device available for monitoring the trace metal content at ppb level in water, essential to gain approval from health authorities. This project develops a new monitoring tool based on Hg-free micro-electrodes capable of monitoring at low concentrations in water. Innovative boron doped diamond electrodes for longer term monitoring, and screen printed electrodes for shorter term monitoring will be incorporated into the analytical device. The device will be linked to a self-adaptive intelligent controller to control the dosing of copper and silver. Further the system will be provided with a wireless communication interface which will allow remote control over the internet as well as operation of a central data recording server. After laboratory calibration and operator training, 5 prototypes will be tested at sites provided by the SME partners in NL, SK, GR, and CY. Development of this tool will strengthen the market position of the SMEs in a field where no comparable device is currently present. Based on the number of copper-silver ionisation systems already sold in Europe, estimates indicate a market value of more than 100m euro over five years for the SILCO device. In addition, promising spin-offs are foreseen since the system will also be capable of measuring range of other trace metals in aqueous environments.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
€ 279 298,00

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Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Jos Van Zuilen (Mr.)
Total cost
No data

Participants (7)