WATLAB

Figure 1. General view of the laboratory.

The water technologies laboratory at PSA is used to give an advanced analytic support to the experiments that are carried out at experimental plant scale and at the solar simulators. This laboratory has a total surface of 200 m2 distributed in 6 rooms that are described below:

  • The main laboratory has a 94 m2 surface (Figure 1). In it we can find all the devices as-sociated to a conventional chemical laboratory. The laboratory is also equipped with Vibrio fischeri and activated sludge respirometry toxicity measurement devices, biodeg-radability measurement by two respirometers for suspended activated sludge and for immobilized activated sludge, and equipment for the analysis of BOD and COD. The la-boratory also has an Automatic Solid Phase Extraction, ASPEC and a coating equip-ment that produces immobilised photocatalysts.
  • The chromatography room has a 23 m2 surface (Figure 2a) and has analytical equip-ment related with the Chemical Environmental Analysis: 3 liquid chromatographs with di-odo array detectors (HPLC-DAD and two UPLC-DAD); 2 ionic chromatographs; 2 total organic carbon analysers with their corresponding samplers and an attached total nitro-gen analyser.
  • A microbiology room with a biosecurity level 2 that has a 30 m2 surface (Figure 2b). All the equipment related to microbiologic analysis of disinfection of water containing differ-ent microorganisms is in this room (bacteria, fungus, etc). This laboratory also has a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) analysis equipment that works at ultrafast real time, a spectrophotometer and a NanoDrop fluorometer which is used to genetically count mi-crovolumes, a FISH microscopy with a fluorescence unit to develop FICH technic (Fluo-rescent In Situ Hybridation) to visualise the ADN hybridisation with living cells in specific probes that are used to control the main microorganisms in a heterogeneous popula-tion. This technic adds information regarding the changes in microbial populations in a heterogeneous community, such as activated sludge systems in waste water treatment plants.
  • The microscopy room with an 11 m2 surface (Figure 2c) that includes a SEM, scanning electron microscopy, an X-ray analyser (EDX) and two optical microscopies.
  • A 30 m2 storage room to store chemical products and other supplies. 
  • Finally, the water technologies laboratory is completed with a small 17 m2 office, that has several work stations where the visiting investigators can work on the data obtained dur-ing the experiments.
(a) (b) (c)
Figure 2. General view of a) chromatography room, b) microbiology room and c) microscopy room.

Finally, there are also several sensors that measure UVA solar radiation and all the global spectrum (direct and difuse) in different ranges of wavelengths (Kipp&Zonen: 280-400 nm; 300-400 nm; 200-3600 nm and 310-2800 nm) and different orientations (horizontal and in-clined 37º) (Figure 3). The obtained data is saved in a database automatically throughout the year.

There is also a spectral spectrophotometer (AVANTES) with a double channel that allows us to monitor the solar spectral irradiance at the location of the solar tests and two portable radiome-ters (Solar Light PMA-2111 (320-400 nm)).

(a) (b)
Figure 3. CUV-5 radiometer (left). View of all solar UV radiometers (inclined and horizontal setup) (right).